Fines for five York County political candidates are growing daily, with one of them owing $890 for failing to file state-required campaign finance reports.
The local politicians were, as of Tuesday, on the state's list of candidates who didn't report financials for the period ending Jan. 31, according to the Department of State. They all ran in last year's primary.
Fines for the missing paperwork are charged at a rate of $20 per day for the first six business days and $10 per day after that, accruing until they reach the $250 cap, said Department of State Press Secretary Ron Ruman.
Three of the candidates said they weren't aware the papers hadn't been filed, while one candidate has maxed out the fine at least three times from earlier elections.
'Ready to be done': Republican Scott Derr, a Carroll Township contractor, said he hadn't realized his filing was outstanding. As of Tuesday, he faced at least $280 in fines for missing paperwork from his unsuccessful primary bid, during which he competed against four other Republicans for the vacant 92nd House District.
Derr said he doesn't blame the state for the oversight, but
the fine can be added to the other reasons he's "ready to be done with politics."
Others on the list were Libertarian Marakay Rogers, who ran for attorney general; Democrat Alvin Q. Taylor, who ran for the 15th Senate District; Libertarian David Moser, who ran for the 95th House District; and William Sieg, who was one of Derr's Republican challengers in the 92nd.
The five York County candidates -- none of whom won a seat -- each owed the state at least $100 by Tuesday. Derr owed $280 because he didn't file either his personal or his committee papers, and each filing counts separately, Ruman said.
Rogers already had three other maxed-out fines, so she owed a total of $890 -- $750 plus $140 -- as of Tuesday, Ruman said.
Oversight: Derr said he didn't realize the reports were due, that a volunteer who'd been handling the financials must have "dropped the ball." He said Tuesday that he found out he was on the list because a friend told him.
He said he wished he would have received some official notice from the state, but he'll pay the fine.
"I'm not one to say it's not my responsibility," he said. "But I'm not a career politician. The campaign finance laws were written probably for people who are involved at a much higher level. Nonetheless, I threw my hat in the ring, and I need to do what I need to do to pay that fine."
Sieg said he'd also just discovered the oversight and planned to address it.
Taylor said he has recently filed the papers after discovering the oversight, but he assumed he was still on the list because he hadn't paid the fine, which had reached $100.
Rogers and Moser didn't return calls for comment.
Less than 10 percent: Ruman said the list is updated a couple of times each day. Out of 1,400 candidates statewide in the 2012 primary and general election, less than 10 percent hadn't filed the reports, he said.
The so-called "annual report" is one of several reports candidates must file for the election year, Ruman said.
Even if a candidate raised less than the $250 report threshold, he or she must still file a statement with the state to avoid ending up on the list, Ruman said. Successful candidates can't take office if they haven't filed or still owe a late fee.
"A lot lost in the primary and it might've been their first foray (into politics) and they might not have realized they had to do this," Ruman said. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse. When you run for office, you need to see what you need to do."
He said this cycle is the first time the Department of State has released the list, an effort inspired by Gov. Tom Corbett's directive to create a more transparent government.
If the fines aren't paid, they'll be forwarded to the state attorney general, Ruman said.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.