Blogger Claims Thompson Must Declare

Prolonged 'testing the water' status may violate election laws
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 21, 2007 1:34 PM CDT

(Newser) – Fred Thompson’s continued undeclared status—even while headlining GOP dinners and glad-handing at the Iowa state fair—is beginning to raise hackles. Federal election law says non-candidates can't spend more than $5,000 on campaign activities; liberal blogger Lane Hudson has filed a complaint that charges the former senator is over the limit.

The advantage to non-candidate status, ABC's Jake Tapper explains, is that Thompson isn’t obligated to disclose his finances; if he waits until Sept. 6 to declare, he won’t have to name his funders until late January—after many states have held primaries. The election commission has challenged other politicians on the issue, fining Pat Robertson $25,000 in 1988 and settling with Al Sharpton in 2004.