Travis owns up to campaign finance 'bookkeeping error'


The Rhode Island Board of Elections has found Warwick Ward 6 City Councilwoman Donna Travis in violation of multiple rules regarding disclosing, tracking and spending campaign fund dollars from a period between January of 2014 and June 30, 2017.

The Board of Elections chose to pursue an audit of Travis’s campaign bank account and financial disclosure records when they discovered a variance of $3,841.62 between what was declared in her campaign finance report and what was actually in her campaign bank account for the period ending Dec. 16, 2016.

As a result of the audit, the Board found that, between the period of Jan. 1, 2014 and June 30, 2017, Travis had under-reported campaign contributions by a total of $13,514; under-reported campaign expenditures by a total of $6,875.42; received a total of $1,290 in illegal contributions from “business entities and anonymous contributions” and; had used $543 total dollars of campaign funds illicitly, including to pay “membership dues.”

Additionally, in all there were 20 instances where a contributor of campaign funding was not correctly identified.

Travis, in an interview on Friday, took responsibility for the finance errors and is cooperating with the Board of Elections.

“I honestly can tell you, and I'm sure that there are some who won’t believe me, but I had no knowledge of any of it until the Board of Elections contacted me that there was a problem.”

While Travis said that she doesn’t personally handle her campaign contributions or bank account – she has a treasurer handle that – she said that the blame is solely her own for not being more aware of the situation and keeping tabs to ensure things were being done properly, especially for being unaware she was using campaign funds to pay for unspecified “membership dues.”

“I'm not trying to bail out of it and say it’s not my fault,” she said. “I have to move forward in a new way of doing it, the correct way. I'm not going to throw anybody under the bus or point fingers in any direction. It’s on me.”

The Board of Elections indicated in their findings that “Ms. Travis has at all times been cooperative with the Board of Elections and has timely responded to all inquiries. The Board has determined that the candidate improperly failed to review expenditures, contributions and campaign reports.”

As a result, Travis will have to forfeit $2,790 worth of campaign funds to the state of Rhode Island, and pay a $1,500 fine in three installments – due the last days of March, June and September of 2018 – from her own personal finances. She has forfeited the right to appeal the decision, and must appoint a new campaign treasurer and documentation showing that the accounting errors have been corrected by Dec. 31, 2017.

“The bottom line is I'll take the hit,” she said. “That's fine, I can take the hit. It was nothing intentional, nothing deliberate. It was just a bookkeeping error.”


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It is worth wondering if the Board of Elections will likewise look into the use of campaign funds by the failed Democratic candidate for mayor in 2016 to pay office rent to the same person who spent $12,000 over two years to pay the tax bill on the candidate's residence:

Here is the link to the campaign expenditure to Mr. Clay Shackleton:

And here is the link to the city's property database -- enter 177 Grand View Avenue to see the same Mr. Shackleton's payments in 2014 and 2015, totalling some $12,000:

This is the same candidate, it should also be noted, who previously stated that Councilwoman Travis "deserves a statue" despite a finding against her by the state Ethics Commission:,125460?#comments

In both cases, to her credit, Councilwoman Travis admitted fault and took responsibility, something the failed candidate has adamantly refused to do.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I'm glad the General Assembly passed campaign finance reform, despite the chaotic reporting schedule in the final weeks of election season. It must've been a blast back in the day, when you could just take the wheelbarrow to the fundraiser and fill it up with cash, then spend it however you like - no campaign bank account required. Cash is king!

Anybody want to run for Ward 6 City Council? Anybody?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dear Dan Elliott,

Before you go looking for a new candidate for Ward 6 City Council, please read "Donna Travis Deserves a Statue" from the December 12, 2016 Warwick Beacon. I was the author.

A flawless bookkeeper she is not, but her lengthy list of "Good Deeds" include:

45 years as a child abuse advocate

40 years assisting the elderly through JONAH

30 years of planning annual Easter egg hunts

20 years of organizing National Night Out

Citizen Police since the 90's

30 years of VOWS Volunteers of Warwick Schools

20 years with and a charter member of the Warwick Lions

30 years of Holiday/Christmas baskets

10 years of working on the Memorial Day Parade

40 years of organizing the 4th of July fireworks

16+ years of teaching CCD classes at St Rita's

20 years of organizing the annual carnival at Oakland Beach

6 years as a Girl Scout leader

30 years as an Oakland Beach Crime Watch organizer (she even started the one in Norwood)

27 years of putting together the Oakland Beach Festival

and 20 years sitting on the board of the Cadets Explorer program make her a candidate that will be hard to beat.

Donna, admittedly is not the best bookkeeper, but her actions are worthy of a fine and not more. It sounds to me like she got a fair shake from the Board of Elections and they even allowed her to pay it over a few months.

Small "wrong" in comparison to her HUGE list of kind acts. Don't you agree Dan?

Merry Christmas Dan Elliott.

Merry Christmas Donna and Bill Travis.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hello again, Thecaptain:

Thanks again for bringing information to light that further informs readers of Councilwoman Travis's past. As you and I have seen many times before [including this very comment thread], the fake "mayor" will undoubtedly ignore the facts presented to him.

Witness, as another example, the way he adamantly refuses to address the ethical questions arising from his use of campaign funds to pay the same person who paid the tax bill on his residence. I would think that this situation will be brought up during the campaign to further prove his total unfitness for office.

I also have the feeling that the fake "mayor" will respond then as his is now, by deflecting and trying to ignore it. However, the facts will not go away, no matter how much he wishes they would -- and despite his delusional beliefs, voters in Warwick will see through his attempts to mislead them and will reject his candidacy again next November.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

tank use mr mayer four pointing out all the accomplishments dat da councel person did that habs nothing to due wit her jobs she was erected two. and by the way the wars on chrismiss is still on so save your marry chrismist for your holey ghost story believing heathens

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


My criticism wasn't a personal attack against Ms. Travis. She seems like a very nice lady, and I appreciate the good works she has done in the community over the years. Failing to report over $13,500 in contributions received is highly suspicious, and you know it. This is a City Council officeholder - $13,500 in a Council race is a LOT of money. What Councilwoman Travis did is not a small thing, and your air quotes indicating you see nothing "wrong" with it is troubling.

As far as new candidates go, I welcome them all! Sixteen years on the Warwick City Council is quite long enough in my opinion. No offense, but we need more young leaders on the Council like McAllister, Rix and Howe. We have too many officeholders who are content to vote YES with leadership in exchange for their precious perks because they know retirement is fast approaching. That's not the quality of representation the Warwick people deserve. It's time for new blood in our city.

Merry Christmas, Rick.

Dan Elliott


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dear Dan Elliott,

Thanks for clearing that up. You're right. Travis understated her contributions as well as her expenditures. I don't believe she had ill intent and it seems you feel the same. I also think I now agree with the fine.

In either event,

Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Hello DanElliott:

Looks like you are the latest victim to the fake "mayor" twisting your words and misrepresenting your statements. In his desperation to find any shred of agreement with someone on this site, he again resorts to just making stuff up.

"I don't believe she had ill intent and it seems you feel the same."

How he derives his conclusion from what you wrote -- "Failing to report over $13,500 in contributions received is highly suspicious, and you know it." -- is plainly a function of his delusional and pathetic need to validate his own routinely disproven statements in standing up for a now-proven violator of campaign finance laws.

As stated previously, the fake "mayor" is clearly immune from following Councilwoman Travis's example of admitting to her misdeeds, as he still has not yet answered for paying campaign funds for an office to the same person who paid the delinquent tax bill on his residence.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017