Monday, July 21, 2008

Where's the Beef?



Koster says - The MEC said it was ok.

Harris' Press Release - Where's the Beef?

Harris Calls on Koster to Document Ethics Commission Approval of Campaign Fundraising Methods

Columbia - Dogged by repeated questions about his campaign's fundraising practices, Senator Chris Koster's campaign has repeatedly asserted that his campaign had been in consultation with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Koster spokesman Danny Kanner said, "The campaign committee has always acted in close consultation with the MEC at every juncture."1 Last week, news came that a member of the Ethics Commission, Michael Kilgore, plans to recuse himself from any discussions regarding the complaint filed earlier this week against Koster.2

Representative Jeff Harris' campaign today calls on Koster to release any correspondence his campaign has received from Ethics Commission staff which he believes approved of the methods his campaign used to raise money.

Additionally, Harris' campaign calls on Koster to release a copy of the first complaint that was filed against him in June. The Kansas City Star reported on July 11, that a complaint had been filed with the Ethics Commission in early June.3 According to the Star, the first complaint stated that Koster had engaged in "what can only be described as a laundering of campaign contributions."

To date, Koster's campaign has yet to release any details regarding that complaint even though Missouri law requires the Ethics Commission to provide Koster with a copy of any complaint filed against him, and unlike the Ethics Commission, Koster is not required to keep any complaint private.

"The questions raised in these news reports suggest lawbreaking by Chris Koster, who is a candidate to be Missouri's top attorney," said Harris campaign manager Christian Badger. "If the Ethics Commission did sign off on Koster's use of staff members to coordinate the funneling of massive contributions into his campaign, then he should clear his name by releasing any correspondence between his campaign and the Ethics Commission. Otherwise, Koster is impugning the integrity of the men and women at the Ethics Commission by suggesting that they signed off on his campaign fundraising schemes. The public has a right to know the charges Koster faces and to review the nature of these complaints."

An article by the Associated Press exposed the methods that Koster's campaign used, both in establishing a committee for the sole purpose of funneling money to his campaign and in using his staff to coordinate the flow of money from wealth, largely Republican donors into his campaign account.4

1 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 8, 2008, http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/political-fix/political-fix/2008/07/mo-gop-jumps-into-the-fray-over-kosters-fundraising/

2 Kansas City Star, July 18, 2008, http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/13115

3 Kansas City Star, July 11, 2008, http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/702011.html

4 Associated Press, July 8, 2008, http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080709/NEWS01/807090486

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This it a total smoke screen. Campaign finance is a difficult subject to understand. What is TOTALLY LEGAL is very complicated to understand. This story uses some very colorful descriptions to insinuate that the law has been broken. That being said, the story does not even alledge that the law has been broken. Because, (drum roll please) everyone that understands campaign finance, understands that NO LAWS HAVE BEEN BROKEN, NONE.

NIXON did NOT break any laws when he raised money through these EXACT SAME methods, STEELMAN did NOT break any laws when she raised money through these EXACT SAME methods, HULSHOF did NOT break any laws when he raised money through these EXACT SAME methods. AND YOU KNOW WHAT...KOSTER did NOT break any laws when he raised money through these methods.

This is Jeff Harris convicing a reporter that something occured here when nothing did. What is amazing is that a respected AP reporter took the bait AND only focused the story on Koster.

People need to recognize that if Harris and Donnelly only attack Koster (ignoring Nixon, Steelman, Hulsof and so many others) this is pure politics. Another Harris/Donnelly attack.

Nixon, Steelman, Hulsoff etc... ALL RAISE MONEY IN THE EXACT SAME WAY. IT IS PERFECTLY LEGAL.

This is a total smoke screen by Harris to attack Koster because Koster is out front."

Anonymous said...

Yo, anonymous, if it's "totally legal" and Koster's telling the truth that the MEC signed off on it, then he should have no problem producing the documents to clear his name.

You Koster-ites need to realize that no one is buying your nonsense that Koster is the same as Nixon, et al. Koster's more like Kinder (look for that story to break tomorrow).

Phil Cardarella said...

Actually the real test for an Attorney General is like the one that they used to tell us was the right answer to any possible ethics questions on the Bar Exam: Even if it's technically legal, I sure wouldn't do it.

Chris should just give the money back and end the matter.

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