Saturday, August 21, 2010
2nd District Congressional Candidate Charles Thompson (R-Hulbert) has filed ethics reports with the Federal Election Commission that are, quite frankly, very flawed. As Thompson is one of two Republican candidates in a runoff, this information is important for potential voters to be aware of.
Just to be up-front, I have endorsed his opponent (Daniel Edmonds), but as I have done in the past, I will point things out regardless of whether I support the candidate or not.
Bear with me as we go through Thompson's latest report.
Thompson reports here that he received $10,179.73 between July 8th and August 4th, and spent $2,286.83 in the same period. Here, he also shows that he ended the period with $13,040.34 (later on, he shows that he began the period with $4,329 on hand).
But, do those figures stay the same through the rest of the report?
Moving on to Thompson's expenditures. In Line 17 of the report, he shows that he spent $2,286.83 in "operating expenditures".
However, in Line 22, which adds up all the disbursements (Lines 17, 18, 19(c), 20(d), and 21 added together), the total figure for disbursements is $1,468.39 - $818.44 or about 35% off of the original figure in this report.
It gets even worse.
The itemized expenses only add up to $1,241.56, and $1,030 of that is "in-kind" (in-kind contributions must be reported as both receipts and disbursements). I know this figure to be false, because Thompson had his primary night watch party at the Three Forks River Center in Muskogee, and the rent for the facility was at least $340, and $100 had to be paid up front. If the rent was not paid by the campaign, it had to have been reported as an in-kind contribution by whomever paid for the building.
In addition, his mailing (that included an implied, and untrue, endorsement by Sen. Coburn) never showed up on his report, either for the printing costs or for the postage.
Thompson states that he began the period with a cash on hand of $4,329, had receipts of $10,179.73, expenses of [a disputed] $1,468.39, and ended with $13,040.34.
However, at the close of the last report, he showed that he ended with a different sum. Let's take a look at that report.
In this report, it clearly shows that the Thompson campaign ended with a cash on hand balance of $621.78, not the $4,329 (an amount seven times higher!) that he showed as the beginning balance in the current report!
This is not the first time Thompson has had problems with his campaign finance reports. In fact, earlier in the campaign, he showed that he accepted an illegal contribution. That resulted in him canning his treasurer, but his reports have never shown that he rectified the mistake.
This is not the only reason Charles Thompson is not the right choice for Congress in the Republican runoff, but it is the most recent. Neither Daniel Edmonds nor the past GOP candidates had campaign finance problems like Thompson has (Edmonds' reports have been flawless - crossed every 't' and dotted every 'i'), and neither does Democrat Congressman Dan Boren (who has hundreds of times the volume of donations/expenses).
If Charles Thompson can't keep track of his campaign account (among other personal fiscal issues), how much more can he manage a multi-million dollar congressional office budget, or the federal budget?
UPDATE: I contacted the Thompson campaign for their explanation of these discrepancies, and they declined to issue a statement.