Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Corker's Character Flaws Mount: Violated FEC Law

The character flaws for Bob Corker just continue to mount with each passing day.

Just days after he won a primary in which his two opponents called him everything from a fraud to a liar, Corker is now taking heat for apparently violating federal law by not reporting over $1.5 million dollars on time to the Federal Election Commission.

The following press release explains it all:

The Tennessee Democratic Party today filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging Bob Corker violated federal law by failing to timely report over $1.5 million he poured into his campaign and another $61,000 in campaign contributions.

"Money can put $6 million worth of lies and distortions on television," Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke said, "but it doesn't buy excuses for not following the law."

According to the complaint, filed today in Washington, "The Bob Corker for Senate campaign did not timely file notifications for contributions totaling $61,000. It failed entirely to file 48-Hour Notices notifying the Commission of his own personal contributions totaling $1,520,000. Finally, Mr. Corker did not timely file his 24-hour notification of expenditure of personal funds." The complaint seeks fines and penalties under federal election law exceeding $159,000 for the following violations:

* No timely notice of dumping $1.7 million of Corker money into campaign. The Corker campaign was obligated under federal law to provide 24 hours notice to the FEC once he put more than $665,760 of his own money into his campaign. The candidate exceeded twice this amount when he dumped $1.1 million of his money into his campaign on July 18. Prior to this, he had loaned his campaign $200,000 on July 3 and $445,000 on July 10, for a personal-contribution total of $1,745,000 on July 18. He did not, however, file his Notice of Expenditure from Personal Funds until July 20, a critical difference in a primary election that was only 13 days away.

* No notice of dumping $420,000 of Corker money into campaign. Federal law requires that campaigns within 20 days of election day notify the FEC of all contributions exceeding $1,000 no less than 48 hours after receiving the contribution. On July 25, Corker gave his campaign another $420,000 in personal funds. Corker never notified the FEC he had dumped another $420,000 into his campaign.

* No timely notice of $61,000 in last-minute contributions. The complaint charges that Corker failed to timely file reports for $61,000 in contributions in excess of $1,000 that he received after July 15, which was 20 days before last Thursday's primary election.

"Campaign finance laws have been put into place because voters want to know that campaigns raise and spend money above board, nothing is hidden," Tuke said. "Corker's failure to follow the law shows utter disdain for clean and open campaign financing.

"Voters have to ask: if a candidate lies in his ads and won't follow the law, what kind of character is that?"

Under the FEC's schedule of penalties, the fine for failure to timely file 48-hour contribution reports is 10 percent of the contributions in question plus $110 per notice. In Corker's case, the fines should total over $159,000. This does not include additional fines that could be levied by the FEC for Corker's failure to timely file his 24-hour notification of expenditure of personal funds.

Tuke called these missteps disturbing for "a candidate that bills himself as a successful businessman that knows how to balance a ledger sheet." Also, Tuke labeled Corker's mishandling of his campaign's books as "another in a long line of campaign finance shenanigans from Bush Republicans."

"Bill Frist says this election is about his legacy," Tuke said. "Who knew he meant his legacy of hiding his campaign finances from the public?"

He added, "Bob Corker and Bill Frist have enough money to hire lawyers to tell them what the law is. It's time they started following it.

Does Bob Corker think he is above the law just because he is a multi-millionaire?

That appears to be the case. It looks as though Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant were right when they called Corker a liar and a fraud.

The last thing Tennessee needs is another U.S. Senator with legal troubles who can't tell the truth.

Vote for a man with character this fall. Vote for Harold Ford Jr.!