Harper calls for moratorium on auto-dealer contributions

Harper calls for moratorium on auto-dealer contributions

Democratic Secretary of State Candidate Jim Harper announced early Thursday his commitment to abstain from accepting contributions from industry donors within the major divisions regulated by the Secretary of State’s office. Harper noted that this would be a fresh start for the office as the incumbent Secretary of State has taken over a quarter-million dollars from auto-dealers despite serving as the major state licensing official for the industry.

“Hoosiers shouldn’t have to wonder whether large corporations are held accountable based on the sum of their campaign contributions,” said Harper. “This is a simple non-partisan notion. Pay to play has no business in our chief regulatory office.”

One of four major divisions overseen by the Secretary of State’s office, the Auto Dealer Division handles dealer license applications, charges and audits. The Secretary of State also chairs the Motor Vehicle Advisory Board, an entity charged with determining the criteria upon which dealer licenses are issued, denied or revoked along with the procedure for investigating dealer conduct.

Secretary Lawson has raised over $250,000 from auto dealers, with one dealer contributing a total of 9 times, totaling $112,700, over 7% of her total donations since taking office.

Harper noted a $1,000 contribution had been made to his campaign by the Indiana Dealers Election Action for Survival PAC that will be donated to charity.

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