Breaking: Fischer Violating Charitable Gaming Laws

Last week Greg Fischer’s campaign for U.S. Senate sent a fundraising email promoting an event during the Thunder Over Louisville celebration in April. That email outlines a reception and dinner being held by the campaign on the roof of Waterfront Park Place during the famed air and fireworks show.

Fischer’s manager, A.J. Carrillo, outlines an opportunity for the supporter that is able to raise the most $25 contributions by midnight tonight (March 31) to win two tickets (valued at $1,500 for the pair) to attend the event. Individuals donating $100 are given the same opportunity to receive one of five pairs of tickets and if you’re one of 20 high-rollers and contribute $1,500, the campaign will also give you a pair of tickets.

Unfortunately for Greg Fischer, his campaign team isn’t up to snuff on the Kentucky Revised Statutes and didn’t learn their lesson when the local Republican Party filed a complaint against Fischer (a result of our leg work, we might add, which was recognized by the C-J).

We have discovered that Fischer may be in violation of Kentucky’s charitable gaming laws and a solid source at the Office of Charitible Gaming in Kentucky agrees with us. According to them, any raffle with anticipated ticket sales greater than $150 requires a license from the aforementioned office. That’s something the Fischer campaign doesn’t possess. To compound the problem, there’s no way for his campaign to obtain a license because political organizations are not of the proper tax exemption status to apply. (Members of the press: read up on the applicable KRS here – PDF link.) Subjecting the campaign to yet another potential campaign finance investigation.

We’ll leave it up to the mainstream press to do the rest of the leg work. But. Suffice to say Fischer has bitten off more than he can chew. If he is serious about wanting real and competent change, he’ll drop out of the race to prevent any additional embarrassment and/or waste of contributed funds from hardworking Kentuckians.

For reference, the email at issue is included after the jump.

Thunder Over Louisville

Join Greg and guests on the 22nd floor roof garden of Waterfront Park Place for appetizers, dinner, a spectacular air show and the featured fireworks.

Three ways to Thunder:

  1. Raise the most $25 contributions by midnight March 31 and receive two tickets. Contact Kyle Gott to sign up to participate.*
  2. Contribute $100 by midnight March 31 and be entered in a random drawing for two tickets.** (Five pairs of tickets available.)
  3. Contribute $1,500 and receive two tickets.** (Twenty pairs of tickets available.)

(Parking included and arrangements will be made by staff.)

*email Kyle at to participate
*enter Thunder in the comments field when making your contribution.

Thunder Over Louisville event schedule
Saturday, April 12

  • Open house begins at 2:30 p.m.
  • Air show begins at 3 p.m.
  • Appetizers served at 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Dinner served at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thunder Over Louisville fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

Thanks for all that you do!


A.J. Carrillo
Campaign Manager
Fischer for Senate

7 thoughts on “Breaking: Fischer Violating Charitable Gaming Laws

  1. Is there any basis for believing that a political campaign is a “charitable organization” subject to the relevant licensing requirements?

  2. There’s enough basis for a Charitable Gaming honcho to tell me point blank – and then verify it with others on-staff there – that the Fischer campaign is subject to these licensing requirements.

  3. KRS uses “charitable organizations” to denote 501(c) non-profits, not entities incorporated under 527, as all campaign committees are. The “charitable gaming honcho(s)” should recheck the facts, as the Charitable Gaming statute doesn’t apply.

    (see, for instance,, which defines “charitable organizations” in another context.)

  4. Does the state registry have control over federal election accounts?

    I agree the event sounds like a giveaway, but I’m not sure what the governing authority is? Wouldn’t it be the FEC?

  5. Over $150 in ticket sales?

    Guess that means that every volunteer fire department or FFA or youth baseball league that raffles off something at the Apple/Country Ham/Sorghum/Black Gold/Glendale Crossing/Woolly Worm/Hardwood/World Chicken/Honey Festival will have to go buy a license, or those investigators will get fat on funnel cakes going around to all the community festivals to track down violators.

  6. Raffles are probited completely if you are not a charity. They are considered illegal lotteries. Charities get some leway until they break a certain threshold.

  7. As a matter of fact, yes, that means every one of those organizations is breaking the law if they aren’t applying for applicable permits.

    And Dave– Charitable Gaming law doesn’t just apply to charities. Like the anonymous commenter says, if you’re not a charity? You can’t play the game of raffling.

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