Local GOP chairman, legislative candidate charged with hiding source of donations
IDAHO FALLS — Two prominent local Republicans have been charged with hiding the source of $12,000 in campaign funding.
Doyle Beck, chairman of the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee, and M.C. “Chick” Heileson, a candidate for the District 34B seat in the state House of Representatives, have both been charged with misdemeanor concealing the source of a campaign contribution by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.
In a criminal complaint filed in Bonneville County on April 28, Deputy Attorney General Jason Slade Spillman says his office received information in January about alleged violations of Idaho’s campaign contributions laws. The alleged violation was made May 7, 2014, when Heileson donated $12,000 to the Integrity in Government Political Action Committee (PAC).
In court documents Heileson admits that nearly half of that donation had been borrowed from Beck. But on campaign disclosure forms, the total amount is listed to have come from Heileson.
According to court records, this is a violation of Idaho Code 67-6614, which states:
“No contribution shall be made and no expenditure shall be incurred, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, anonymously, or by one person through an agent, relative or other person in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the source of the contribution.”
In February, when the Post Register asked Beck about an investigation by the attorney general’s office into the Integrity in Government PAC, he said he was unaware of any illegal contributions.
Beck told the newspaper he had initially “been asked to be a member of Integrity in Government PAC’s board, but was never formally added to the board.” He also told the Post he had accepted some contributions on the PAC’s behalf and contributed to some decisions about how to spend the money that was raised.
The Integrity in Government PAC raised about $145,568 in 2014 for the state GOP primary, according to state documents. Much of that money was spent on advertising for state candidates.
EastIdahoNews.com reached about to Beck about the charge. He declined to discuss the case, but released this emailed statement:
“I am disappointed in this type of activity in the attorney general’s decision to bring this case. However, I have great confidence in our justice system and I look forward to addressing this matter in court. I’m positive that truth will prevail.”
Efforts to reach Heileson were unsuccessful.
Both men are scheduled to be arraigned in Bonneville County on May 18. The penalty for violating Idaho Code 67-6614 is a fine between $250 and $2,500 and/or up to six months imprisonment.