Over at Blue Mass Group, the cool kids are talking about Martha Coakley’s campaign finances, specifically the Boston Globe story which shows that she violated a whole slew of Campagin Finance Regulations. Doug Rubin, Coakley’s strategist, acknowledges that rules were broken but blames it all on oversights and technological issues. Here’s Rubin’s explination, from the comment section of BMG:
Thanks for the chance to respond…(5+ / 1-) View voters
I understand that there will be questions about the Globe story, and I appreciate the chance to respond to them here on BMG.
Martha Coakley, like many former federal candidates, has maintained a federal account after her election was over. That account allows her to make federal expenditures and support the federal activities of the Democratic Party and other federal candidates. For example, Martha was pleased to offer financial support to Congressman Ed Markey during the special election for the United States Senate this year. After the Senate race in 2010, the campaign committee made the decision to keep the federal account open to support other federal candidates and keep other options open.
At some point after the end of the Senate election, the FEC began sending notices about the Coakley federal account to an invalid email address. The Committee was not aware of the issues with the reports because they did not receive the email notices. Once we were made aware of the issues, the campaign moved immediately to contact the FEC and address the issues. We are working to fix the problems and file amended reports to the FEC.
Upon reviewing the expenditures from the federal committee, it appears that a $1,200 ad placed in the state convention was incorrectly paid for from that account instead of her state account. We regret the error and will reimburse the funds. The Coakley Committee is working with the FEC to file amended reports, and once that is complete will be taking steps to close the federal account by the end of the year.
(Full Disclosure – I am working for the Coakley campaign for Governor.)
Rubin basically admits every point the Globe Makes, but tries to downplay the significance. The good folks at BMG aren’t quite buying the explination. For example, this from BlueWatch, a sometimes contributor of alternative views here at RMG.
Sorry, Doug(3+ / 0-) View voters
I don’t buy this explanation. .
I gave the maximum to Martha Coakley’s federal account. I gave my money to help her win her senate election. She’s used part of my money to give money to her sister and advance her ambition to become governor. I didn’t donate to her for that reason.
So, Doug, can I get a refund? Since Martha Coakley is using her federal campaign account inappropriately, will she give refunds to any donor who requests it?
bluewatch @ Mon 4 Nov 4:42 PM
Meanwhile the MassGOP is calling for an independent counsel investigation, since of course the Attorney General can’t investigate herself.
Chairman Hughes remarks, as prepared for delivery are after the jump.
Thank you all for coming today.
The Boston Globe reported yesterday that Martha Coakley may have violated multiple campaign finance laws aimed at keeping politicians honest.
No one is above the law, especially those in law enforcement and especially the Attorney General – the state’s top law enforcement officer.
These are serious allegations – not simply accounting errors – and suggest violations of both state and federal law that need to be fully and independently investigated.
The citizens of MA deserve to hear directly from the AG on this matter, and deserve a detailed release of information to support the statements her spokesman made to the Boston Globe.
Yesterday’s report alleges that not only are Coakley’s finances a mess – a troubling sign for someone looking to become governor and manage the state’s finances – but that laws were broken.
Specifically, it appears Coakley has sought to use funds from her federal account to benefit her campaign for state office.
The MassGOP will file complaints with the FEC and with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance in efforts to bring the truth to light.
Because the Attorney General is supposed to be the chief enforcer of campaign finance laws, an independent third party is needed to conduct an investigation of these very serious allegations.
She cannot be trusted to investigate herself. That much is clear.
Coakley should speak with reporters today to clear up these serious allegations. The state’s top cop should not hide behind a spokesman.
Coakley should turn over the details of the contract and the work product for the $35,000 fundraising database project funded by her federal campaign account. There is no other way to know whether that work benefited her campaign for state office.
Let me reiterate – this report is alarming – and calls into question not only her fitness for the office of governor but also her ability to carry out her duties as Attorney General.
Coakley needs to address these issues publicly today and turn over the details of the questionable expenditures as well.