Sources of big-money donations unclear in Indiana governor race

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana law allows limited liability companies to give unlimited amounts of money to state political candidates even though such entities don’t have to publicly disclose their ownership or what the business does. Most LLCs contributing to the campaigns of Republican Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic challenger John Gregg are clearly tied to other businesses through shared addresses or employees.

But the sources of LLC donations aren’t clear in some instances found in an Associated Press review of campaign reports filed with the state election division.


Two Terre Haute-based LLCs — AMZ Enterprises and Millennium Management — were both registered with the Indiana secretary of state’s office on Dec. 16, a day before they gave a cumulative $10,000 to Pence and later $2,500 to Gregg. Both list Pam Pell as their registered agent at the same address in a downtown building.

Those businesses aren’t among the tenants listed in public directories as occupying the building. When asked by the AP about who owned the companies and their type of business, Pell said she was not comfortable giving out that information and hung up the phone.


Ohio-based coal company Murray Energy Corp. gave Pence’s campaign the state maximum of $5,000 for a corporation. Pence also received $95,000 from Chagrin Executive Offices LLC, of which Murray CEO Robert Murray is the registered agent on Ohio’s state records.

Pence has been opposing tougher federal regulations on coal-burning power plants. A Murray Energy spokesman described the Chagrin Executive Offices LLC contribution as an exercise of its First Amendment rights.


Air LLC is a Jasper-based organization that contributed $10,000 to Pence’s campaign and is registered with the state under Raymond Schwenk, who also is the registered agent for auto parts manufacturer Jasper Engines & Transmissions Inc.

The LLC’s filings with the Indiana secretary of state’s office also show the company shares an address with the corporation and lists Jasper Engines & Transmissions Vice President Mike Schwenk as an officer.

Raymond Schwenk said Air LLC is a collective of 10 people that owns an airplane and declined to comment on the nature of the business before ending the conversation.

Jasper Engines gave $500 to Pence in March.

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