From Ballot Access News:
The Rhode Island State Board of Elections wants to levy a fine of $10,000 against Ken Block, because Block donated $20,000 to the Moderate Party of Rhode Island. Block is the person most responsible for conceiving of the Moderate Party and bringing it into existence as a ballot-qualified party earlier this year. See this story.
The whole purpose of limits on how much individuals may contribute to political parties is to prevent big donors from indirectly bribing influential politicians. Such limits make no sense when applied to political parties that have never elected any officials. The U.S. Supreme Court made this point in McConnell v FEC, and almost invited a minor party someday to bring an as-applied challenge. McConnell v FEC is the 2003 decision that upheld most of the McCain-Feingold law, which made it illegal for individuals to donate large amounts of money to national committees of political parties. It is not known if Block will defend himself using the constitutional argument. He does not concede that his donation broke any Rhode Island campaign law. He donated $10,000 to the state Moderate Party, and another $10,000 to one of the town committees of that party. The law is ambiguous about whether that is permitted.