#PA13: Leach demands Margolies release all campaign finance records

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Daylin Leach released an advisory to press contacts today, informing them that he’d be sending Margolies a letter tomorrow. In it, he demands that Margolies release all financial records, accounting practices, and bank statements from her campaign related to the illegal use of campaign funds. Without a release of these records, the public will gain more knowledge about her current spending practices starting May 1st when the 48 hour reporting periods begins. Even so, they will only see what is required to be reported, not the methods in which the campaign keeps their books or the actual physical bank statements that reflect true spending practices.

Leach originally filed a complaint letter with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, citing evidence from her own campaign finance reports that backs up his claims. He says she has used over $70,000 of general election funds to keep her campaign afloat, a prohibited practice.

To understand fully what this all means, read my report from this morning.

Here’s the text of the letter to be sent tomorrow, demanding a release of records:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Marjorie Margolies
Marjorie 2014
105 W. North Lane
Conshohocken, PA 19428

C.C. Karl Sandstrom, Perkins Coie

Dear Marjorie:

As you know, we have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission because your campaign illegally used general election campaign funds for the majority of the last reporting quarter. The full complaint can be found here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/220041840/FEC-Complaint-Against-Marjorie-Margolies-Congressional-Campaign 

In response, on Thursday, April 24, 2014, your campaign released a statement saying the following: “Marjorie 2014 used an acceptable accounting method to distinguish between general and primary funds and at no time did Marjorie 2014 access general election funds for expenditures in this primary. Any assertion to the contrary will be found without merit.”

I will note, that this is a change from what you were claiming less than eight hours earlier, when your campaign was said that it was spending general election funds, but that it is perfectly legal to do so. I also think it odd, that you claim to have a clear defense to the complaint we filed, but do not say what it is.

That said, your campaign finance reports speak for themselves. Those reports show that you spent tens of thousands of dollars in excess of what you had legally available to spend for the primary last quarter. There was no way for your campaign to spend at that level without spending general election funds. As former President Bill Clinton said in his 2012 DNC Convention speech, “it’s arithmetic.”

A cynic might conclude that your statement is an effort to deceive voters and run out the clock to Election Day on this clear breaking of campaign finance law. However, I think this can be settled definitively, that is why I am calling on you to release the following:

  1. The full details of your accounting methods that you use to distinguish between primary and general election funds to ensure that no general election funds are used for primary purposes.
     
  2. A ledger of the campaign’s daily financial activities that shows clearly money received, money spent, and the election designation of this money (general or primary) on behalf of Marjorie 2014 PAC – from the inception of the PAC on May 30, 2013 through the date that you release this ledger.We have already done this analysis based on your FEC reports. It is public and transparent athttp://tinyurl.com/marjoriesmoney , and the public deserves to know how your calculations could be so markedly different than as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s own analysis also confirmed.
     
  3. Copies of all bank statements from Marjorie 2014 from the inception of the PAC on May 30, 2013 through the day you release these bank statements.

If your campaign did what your finance reports show, then you broke the law and cheated in this race; you have betrayed the basic trust that all elected officials, or aspiring elected officials must have with the voters. Your only justification thus far is to simply say “I didn’t do it.” The voters of the 13th Congressional District deserve more than this, they deserve a full and complete explanation, and if there is none, you owe it to the voters to step down from this race.

I look forward to the release of the documents above. And lastly, I would note that you once called out one of our mutual opponents who criticized you on an issue by saying that he was cowardly for “hiding behind the trousers of a campaign spokesperson.” I agree with you on that, which is why I am calling on you to explain your campaign’s handling of your finances yourself, as the candidate, directly to the voters, rather than behind a spokesperson’s “trousers.”

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I await receipt of the documents.  

Sincerely,
Senator Daylin Leach    

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

6 Responses to #PA13: Leach demands Margolies release all campaign finance records

  1. David Diano says:

    “I await receipt of the documents.”

    I expect Daylin is going to have a long wait. There is no chance she will produce any documents without a court order.

    Daylin should raise the bar and offer to withdraw from the race if his accusations are untrue. That would really put some focus on this issue and get the press following it closer.

    Because, if the accusation were false, then Daylin should pay a penalty for a smear. Margolies would have a doubly strong incentive to release the documents: clear her name and remove an opponent.

    If she fails to accept the challenge, then she’ll look pretty guilty, because no innocent person would turn down an offer like that from an opponent.

    My prediction is that Margolies will continue to maintain radio-silence with regard to this issue (and running any semblance of a field operation).

    I’m surprised that the other candidates haven’t jumped in on this to go after Margolies as well. I can’t imagine her showing up for a debate just to get peppered with questions about this.

    • Colleen Kennedy says:

      I think it’s easier for the other two to lay low right now. There’s a certain level of “being a poor sport” involved with the perception of Leach’s actions right now, whether she is right or wrong. Because so few people understand all the facts, my prediction is similar to yours. She is going to remain silent, let her lawyer do the work, and try to win this race despite some of the uglier data now out there. I just wonder if she has the field program to be considered a serious candidate anymore, let alone a front runner.

    • Her entry into the race stunk from the outset. Thing is, I really doubt she was the frontrunner. How many people remember she represented some of that district 20 years ago? Heck, I bet most people don’t even know/remember that she’s Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law. But you’re plan is gold. Leach should do it.

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