CINCINNATI (TDB) -- If you go fishing, you have to have a fishing license. If you golf, you have to show the starter the greens' fees are squared away. And if you plan to run for Congress and are raising campaign cash, you have to tell the Federal Election Commission.
It appears U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, a conservative Republican from Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, has neglected to file proper paperwork in Washington that legally declares herself a candidate for reelection. But Schmidt' campaign committee has been raising and spending money -- drawing this regulatory notice from the FEC that points out she's not playing by the rules Senators and House members must follow.
The FEC has given her until July 23 to formally declare whether she's running or sitting out the 2008 election. The commission believes her fundraising activities appear to be for 2008, a race expected to match her against former Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich, whose paperwork is now in place for the GOP primary.
Madelynn M. Lane signed the FEC notice to Schmidt, saying:
"A review of these reports indicates that your principal campaign committee has net debts from the previous election cycle, and has accepted contributions and/or made expenditures in support of your candidacy in excess of $5,000, thus meeting the definition of "candidate per Federal Election Campaign Laws.
"You must either disavow these activities by notifying the Commission in writing that you are not a candidate, or redesignate your principal campaign committee by filing a Statement of Candidacy (FEC FORM 2) within thirty days from the date of this letter," the FEC official said in the formal notice dated June 23.
Two weeks have passed. There's nothing to show Schmidt has declared herself a candidate. Any possibility she's quitting?