Friday, July 18, 2008

The Smell Test

Kinda like the stench of a corporate pig farm, people start to move away from the smell. Here's an interesting article from the Post-Dispatch's web site about Democrats returning Koster's contributions.

Dem candidate returns Koster contribution
By Jo Mannies

Dr. Vernon (Doc) Harlan, a Democrat running for the 71st District state House seat in the Aug. 5 primary, says that he has returned a $300 donation to his campaign from state Sen. Chris Koster, D-Harrisonville and a St. Louis native who’s running for attorney general. Harlan cites “the recent revelation that aides to…Koster have been connected to laundering of political funds.”

Harlan was referring to reports, initially by the Associated Press’ David Lieb, that a Koster aide had delivered checks from an independent pro-Democrat campaign committee — the Economic Growth Council — to a representative for a legislative committee. That person then gave a donation from the legislative committee to the Koster aide.

Koster’s critics contend that action violated state campaign law, which bars donors from dictating to legislative committees which candidates get the money. (The Post-Dispatch ran a detailed story, days before Lieb’s account, about how the committee pass-through system works. We also reported that Koster had benefited the most, percentage-wise, from the practice.)

Koster says no illegal activity took place, and that he has regularly sought guidance from the Ethics Commission. Critics have filed complaints with the commission, which is expected to act after the primary. Commission officials have otherwise declined comment. In any case, Harlan says he “is also calling on other candidates to avoid any appearance of condoning or benefitting from unethical behavior by returning funds from Koster and his publically discredited Economic Growth Council.”

“I am deeply saddened by Mr. Koster’s decision to circumvent campaign laws by using the Economic Growth Council to access and control hundreds of thousands of laundered dollars,” Harlan said in a statement. “This is especially troubling when done by the man who aspires to be our state’s top justice official. Koster’s actions convey the message that the law is only for the rest of us, not for him and those he supports…”

Speaking of corporate pig farms (CAFO), CCP endorsed candidate Jeff Harris is the only AG candidate to address this important environmental issue (on the side of the environment, not the corporations). Here's a link to Harris' platform on this important environmental issue.


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John Bullard's Secret Identity said...

This is a very bad idea and I hope no one would expect a sheriff's candidate to follow the same wimpy example. If a candidate for sheriff went out of his way to get Koster the FOP endorsement and Koster showed that candidate for sheriff some financial love, there is no reason for that candidate for sheriff to give back the money. No reason at all. I would hope this issue is settled.

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