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Thursday, November 03, 2005

2006: NRSC Chair Elizabeth Dole's FEC Scandal

Posted by Bob Brigham

Last month:

We already know that Schumer and the DSCC is kicking Liddy Dole's ass in candidate recruitment. Now, for the second straight quarter, Schumer has kicked her ass in fundraising.
That response followed the DSCC have a 2:1 cash on hand advantage over the NRSC for most of the cycle. But now we learn that National Republican Senate Committee Chair, Senator Elizabeth Dole, has more problems with the money she has raised:
On Monday, the Federal Election Commission issued its audit of the Dole North Carolina Victory Committee Inc. (DNCVC), a campaign committee that served as a joint fundraising arm affiliated with Senator Elizabeth Dole’s 2002 Senate campaign. As a result of the audit, Dole has once again been told to refund more than $81,000 in illegal corporate contributions. This report comes six years after Dole, then an underfunded presidential candidate, decided she cared about campaign finance reform. Of course, the better funded Dole became, the more campaign finance reform became a “frivolous” issue. And now, any respect for the law seems to have just flown the coop altogether.
History after the jump...

FIRST: AS AN UNDERFUNDED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, DOLE WAS AGAINST CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. In July 1999, then-presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole said, “I would say let's rule out all soft money for corporations, unions and individuals.” [NPR, “All Things Considered,” 7/19/99]

THEN: AS A SENATE CANDIDATE, DOLE CARED LESS AND LESS ABOUT CAMAPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. During her 2002 U.S. Senate bid, Dole was asked about an FEC complaint alleging she violated the corporate contribution ban by having a photo and quote from her distributed to millions of families in a publication printed by Wal-Mart. At the time, Dole referred to the complaint as just one of the “frivolous issues” Democrats were involved in. [AP, 9/6/02]


BACKGROUND: DOLE AIDE EMBEZZLED FUNDS, DOLE’S COMMITTEE LACKED OVERSIGHT TO PREVENT IT. The FEC found that the committee’s assistant treasurer, Earl Allen Haywood, “wrote unauthorized checks from the committee’s account” which were either not reported or wrongly reported on the original reports filed by DNCVC. The audit further found that “the lack of basic internal controls…and oversight” by Dole’s committee “created an environment that contributed to the misappropriation of funds.” In all, a review found a total of $70,750 in misappropriated funds from 2002 and an additional $104,001 from 2003. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

PROBLEM: DOLE’S COMMITTEE ACCEPTED CORPORATE CHECKS. Dole’s Committee received 55 contribution checks totaling $104,720, including $81,320 from corporations, in 2002 that were not deposited into the account until 2003. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

VIOLATION: CORPORATE CHECKS ARE ILLEGAL. Federal political committees are barred from accepting campaign contributions from corporations. If a corporate check is delivered to a campaign committee, the committee must return it or, if deposited, refund the contribution. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

PROBLEM: DOLE’S COMMITTEE DEPOSITED MORE THAN $600,000 WITHOUT PROPER INFORMATION. Dole’s Committee accepted at least 421 contributions totaling $634,743 from individuals without disclosing the donor’s occupation or employer. [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

VIOLATION: CONTRIBUTIONS OVER $200 REQUIRE EMPLOYER/OCCUPATION DISCLOSURE. According to the audit, the Committee “was unable to demonstrate that it had made any follow-up requests for the missing information.” [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]

FEC RULING: THREE YEARS LATER, DOLE COMMITTEE STILL NEEDS TO RETURN ILLEGAL CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. “The Audit staff concludes that DNCVC still bears the responsibility for the return of the prohibited contributions.” [FEC Memo, 10/31/05]


AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR, AND 15 LETTERS FROM THE FEC, MARTINEZ FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGES FLAWED FINANCE REPORTING. This week, a lawyer for Sen. Mel Martinez acknowledged that the Senator’s 2004 campaign reports filed with the FEC were “not done with the precision that was required.” The lawyer blamed the erroneous reporting on campaign stress, saying, “They got overwhelmed… If you've not been through it [a campaign] before, the deluge can cause great problems.” But since January 2004, Martinez’s campaign committee “has received 15 letters from the FEC requesting additional information, corrections or revisions in the reporting of contributions, expenditures and debt.” As one independent expert explained, “At the very least, this is sloppiness that is very unusual for a Senate campaign.” [Tampa Tribune, 11/1/05]

DELAY’S INDICTMENT WAS TRIGGERED BY ILLEGAL CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was recently indicted “on felony criminal charges of money-laundering and conspiracy related to the allegedly illegal use of corporate funds in the 2002 state election.” [Washington Post, 10/20/05]

Click Here to View the Complete Dole Audit Report from the FEC.

Ouch, Senator Dole is going out of her way to look pathetic compared with Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair, Senator Chuck Schumer.

Posted at 06:23 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Culture of Corruption, North Carolina, Scandals | Technorati

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Oh this sounds good for 2008 in NC. If we get a meat-eater to run against her and run mean and dirty on Republican corruption, NC could go blue for Senate and President.

Posted by: chuckles [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 4, 2005 08:43 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment