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