Disclosure: I worked for the Lamont campaign doing web design and production and some writing for the official blog (from 9/5/06 to 11/07/06).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

Lieberman Shifty on Slush Fund

(Update: over 2,500 people have already co-signed the campaign's letter to the FEC).

They're dancing around this one, trying every technique in the book to get folks to stop asking where almost $400,000 in cold, hard cash went in 12 days before the primary.

First, Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun said she wasn't there when it happened:

Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun said she wasn’t with the campaign at the time of the primary, but her understanding is that there was a staffer in charge of keeping track of petty cash. (NH Register, 10/22)


Then she promised she'd produce the journal detailing petty cash expenditures - one that is required by FEC law:

She said the money was used to cover salaries, food, lodging and transportation for hundreds who were hired to do statewide canvassing. The daily rates ranged from $60 to $75 to $100 for the work, Sun said. She said she would attempt to find the petty cash report by Monday. (NH Register, 10/22)


Then she was "unable to say" why the young workers who assumedly got all this cash weren't listed by name and salary in the FEC report, while their lodging and transportation was:

Sun was unable to say Saturday why the workers, some of whom appeared to have stayed for days or weeks in dormitories at the expense of the Lieberman campaign, were not listed by name and salary. (Courant, 10/22)


Then she hid behind the campaign's lawyer:

"The fact is, our attorney has assured us that the petty cash expenditures and the rest of our FEC report is in full compliance with the law's disclosure requirements just as every campaign Joe Lieberman has run for the last 18 years has been." (AP, 10/23)


Then she reversed herself, said the cash was not used to pay workers, but to pay field coordinators who then threw the cash around to kids:

Lieberman's campaign spokeswoman, Tammy Sun, said today the cash was paid to field coordinators who then distributed the money to workers who canvassed for the three-term incumbent, who's running as an independent candidate after his primary loss to Lamont in August. (Journal-Inquirer, 10/24)


Then she reversed herself, and told reporters they couldn't see the petty cash journal:

Sun declined Monday to allow reporters to examine the campaign's petty cash journal. (Courant, 10/24)


Now, despite promising reporters she would produce records of how almost $400,000 in cash was spent and then suddenly telling reporters they couldn't look at them, and despite still being "unable to say" why the slush fund even existed in the first place, she's calling the whole thing a "kooky conspiracy theory":

"We are in full compliance with the FEC’s disclosure requirements, have done nothing wrong, and there’s not a shred of evidence to suggest otherwise. We will not be going beyond the law to release the journal simply because Ned Lamont has some kooky conspiracy theory." (NH Register, 10/24)

Comments:
I just sent this email to Mary O'Leary at the NH Register because it seems to me that all of the commentary on this issue is ignoring the obvious:

I just read your 10/24 story and it seems to me that everyone quoted is ignoring the obvious: What proof is there that the money was spent at that time, the 2 weeks before the primary? I mean, the term "slush fund" refers to a "fund," after all and these large amounts that are called "petty cash" would be, IMO, more likely to have been siphoned off and kept in a fund for paying out in ways that no one wants to say openly than they are likely to have been paid out to volunteers or canvassers. Put it another way, what possible reason would there have been not to keep detailed records of a completely legitimate expenditure when it is so easy to do so? The excuse can't be "We didn't want to be bothered having to send out W-2s next January" because that would be an admission of breaking the law.

Theres a reason why banks have to keep track of large cash deposits and theres a reason why organized crime sets up front businesses to launder cash. Large amounts of cash should be inherently suspicious and it sounds rather disingenuous when someone claims not to see the likelihood that theres something wrong.
 
More ideas. Vote for me, because I uncovered Joe's sloppy accounting. Now why is it that Schlesinger's positives go up and mine go down?
 
And the next question would be...

What was the source of the $387,000.00?

Who contributed what, when. And how does it match up to what was spent as cash...

eh?
 
@joanbasil: Thanks, glad to see folks with knowledge of the workings of these kinds of funds are proactive in needling the press -- since they can't seem to pursue a story for more than 10 seconds. Dishonesty seems to be the hallmark of Lieberman's campaign. And stupidity, judging from the level of non-discourse by his trolls.

@ned lament -- take your doofus lightbulb off your head. We are only laughing at you and the other Liebertrolls.
 
I want to leave it on for another 2 weeks. Then I can say buh bye. Think daddy will let me run the company again when I come back.
 
Oh, I'm sure your daddy will let you drive the "company" car. Tammy doesn't keep good (or any) books so there's probably plenty of cash at Lieberman,Inc.
 
Where's all the love Chaucer. You seem increasingly despondent now that it seems clear that I dont have a chance at winning. Better make another call to an editor or producer to try and pull me through.
 
Neddy, all the love is spent on a real candidate. Did you have to ask Blankenbrain how to spell despondent? Not sure you are worth the $100 a day. I'd check with Blankenbrain, but, oh, yeah, he doesn't want to hear from the public.
 
Why isn't this something that would be referred to the FBI? Drug dealers and Gun Runners are investigated for a lot less unattributed cash. Why is it just the FEC that is investigating?
 
I think Joan Basil is trolling. She left the exact same message on another blog...I wonder how many of Joan's I can find...?
 
@dafug010101 -- Joanbasil isn't a troller. She's just covering her bases. I've read her posts a number of times and she's one of the more astute.
 
She sounds like a troll to me Chaucer, but I'll defer to you to do all the people classification. After all, doesn't the saying go:
Free speech for me, but not for thee (unless you're a liberal too)?
 
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