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Joe Lieberman's Slush Fund Problem --Matt Stoler, Huffingtonpost

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:46 AM
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Joe Lieberman's Slush Fund Problem --Matt Stoler, Huffingtonpost

... Joe Lieberman just reported on his FEC form $387,000 in petty cash disbursements for the last eight days of the primary campaign against Ned Lamont. That's 8% of the total amount he spent, and an incredibly high number. It's also illegal; petty cash disbursements are not supposed to go above $100 apiece, for the simple reason that vote-buying, money-laundering and other illegal and unsavory tactics are easily accomplished when you can just hand out cash, as the Lieberman campaign apparently did.

A political committee may maintain a petty cash fund out of which it may make expenditures not in excess of $100 to any person per purchase or transaction. If a petty cash fund is maintained, it shall be the duty of the treasurer of the political committee to keep and maintain a written journal of all disbursements. This written journal shall include the name and address of every person to whom any disbursement is made, as well as the date, amount, and purpose of such disbursement. In addition, if any disbursement is made for a candidate, the journal shall include the name of that candidate and the office (including State and Congressional district) sought by such candidate.
Let's get beyond the partisan foodfights for a second here and recognize a basic fact. This is $387,000, in cold hard untraceable cash that Lieberman collected and disbursed. We're not talking going out and getting donuts for some volunteers.

This could be a serious legal situation for Lieberman, and he needs to explain it and not just go on the attack. Vote-buying is illegal. And if this were some sort of clerical error, why couldn't Tammy Sun just admit that and have the story go away?

All in all, it's very confusing. There are much better ways to hide payoffs than reporting illegal disbursements on your publicly accessible FEC report, but then again, the Lieberman staff at the time probably knew that they were all being fired after the primary and were totally exhausted. Attention to detail tends to lapse at times like that. Or maybe there's an innocent explanation, the Lieberman just illegal paid $387,000 in cash to canvassers in the last few days and forgot to catalogue it like the law demands.

I'm only certain of one thing. The Lieberman campaign is hiding something. Whether it's embarrassment at their incompetence or criminal activity I don't know. But they didn't admit a simple mistake and come clean, and that's very strange.

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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 05:51 AM
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1. If Lieberman wins, can he be indicted? NT
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 06:52 AM
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2. If he's indicted and removed from office
then a Republican governor gets to name his replacement.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:32 AM
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3. That clinches it. He's now officially a Republican.
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