July 21, 2010
Brickley blasts Larson's use of campaign dollars
Brickley Questions Larson’s Fundraising and Campaign Spending Decisions
Cites Larson’s use of PAC funds for Congressmen’s Legal Defense Funds
(Wethersfield, CT) July 21, 2010– Ann Brickley, the Republican convention-endorsed candidate, is questioning Congressman Larson claims of being a leading supporter of campaign finance reform while milking the system for every possible dollar. Larson reports raising $1.8 million thru June and having $900,000 on hand. The fact that he has spent $900,000 on his campaign to date should raise the question "on what"?
“While Larson advocates for getting special interests out of politics, one of the most complete lists of special interest groups in Washington is the lists of donors to Larson's Political Action Committees,” Brickley said. “It is interesting to note that a substantial number of donors only report a P.O. Box as their address and contribute thousands of dollars.”
Based on May figures, Larson had spent more than $531,685 on his campaign, having given colleagues who elect him to his leadership position $236,500 and donated $286,750 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Clearly these PACs are huge political slush funds with no restrictions that are taken seriously,” Brickley stated.
According to campaign filings, these funds are even used to finance legal defense funds for congressmen who are charged with violating the law. Larson's committees are a prime source of funds for Democrats colleagues in need regardless of the situation.
Larson’s leadership PAC expenditures include contributions to the Legal Defense Funds of Congressmen William Jefferson, Brad Miller and Jim McDermott. William Jefferson is the Democratic Representative from Louisiana who was charged with accepting a bribe when authorities found that he placed the cash bribe in his refrigerator.
“I have questioned how contributions of this nature could be permitted under any rules but learned that PACs are regulated by the theory that anything that is not specifically prohibited is permitted,” Brickley said. “On that basis the rules would have to address the possibility that Representative Jefferson would need legal help to contest a bribe allegation in order to regulate this donation.”
Another aspect of PACs that Brickley also expressed her concern about is the frequency that some Congressmen hosts events. Several events per week is not unusual and may explain why they are voting on bills without having read them. Again Congressman Larson has hosted numerous events including Bocce ball tournaments in DC attorney's offices, wine tasting at exotic locations, and the recent Mohegan Sun extravaganza which was one of the most lavish and financially successful.
“As your Congressperson I will lead the campaign to abolish "Leadership PACs" and bring serious reform to all political committees,” Brickley said. “Until we do that, meaningful Campaign Finance Reform is simply rhetoric. At present, Larson is one of the biggest offenders and has put out some of the most effective rhetoric to date.”
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