CREW: Christine O’Donnell ‘Clearly a Criminal’ Campaign Embezzler
September 21, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)—The legal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has another title for Christine O’Donnell besides Republican candidate for U.S. Senate; a “crook.” The group filed two complaints demanding an investigation into O’Donnell’s campaign finances, alleging she stole more than $20,000 in campaign funds to pay for her personal living expenses, including rent, gas, meals and other expenses. Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director did not pull any punches in the group’s press release announcing the complaints against the unemployed perennial senatorial candidate, saying O’Donnell is “clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted.” Allegations of embezzlement, making false statements on FEC forms and tax evasion, unlike past kooky “witchcraft” statements made by O’Donnell in her role as a right-wing activist, are certainly more damaging. And can’t be as easily explained away.
O’Donnell has been dogged with questions about her finances and misuse of campaign funds. Her Delaware home was in foreclosure, the I.R.S. placed a tax lien on it, and her former college sued her for unpaid school bills. The former anti-masturbation advocate has not held down a job in five-years. And she reported only $5,800 of earned income between March 2009 and June 2010.
During the Delaware primary campaign against GOP establishment candidate Rep. Mike Castle (R), Kristin Murray, a former O’Donnell staffer recorded a robocall accusing O’Donnell of using campaign funds to pay her rent, while not paying her staff.
“As O’Donnell’s manager, I found out that she was living on campaign donations — using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt,” said Murray in the robocall.
CREW is now demanding that the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office conduct a criminal investigation of O’Donnell’s campaign finances. And the group is asking the Federal Election Commission to perform a full audit.
Sloan’s press release reads in part:
“Christine O’Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted,” said Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director. “Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate.”
The complaints are based partly on the sworn affidavit of David Keegan, an ex-O’Donnell aide.
Mr. Keegan explained that in 2009, when Ms. O’Donnell was out of money, she paid her landlord, Brent Vasher, two months rent out of her campaign funds. On FEC forms, Ms. O’Donnell called the expenditures “expense reimbursements.” Mr. Keegan also attested that Ms. O’Donnell routinely used campaign funds for meals and gas, and even a bowling outing. This is not surprising given that Ms. O’Donnell has not held a steady job or had a discernable source of income for many years.
“If you need money to pay the rent and eat, you get a job; you don’t start a Senate campaign so unsuspecting donors can support you,” said Sloan.
O’Donnell denied the embezzlement charges. “I am confident that we have been ethical. I personally have not misused campaign funds,” O’Donnell told reporters on Monday.
The latest Fox News poll shows Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons leading Republican Christine O’Donnell by 15 points, 54 to 39 percent.
Photo Source: Official O’Donnell campaign website