The following post was emailed to me by a concerned citizen who is a regular on a neighboring blog. Elena and I felt it was a worthy post, considering the nature of the discussion regarding campaign financing.
Guest post by Mortimore Snerd.
Disclaimer: All guest posts are the opinion of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views of moonhowlings.net administration
BVBL is attacking Democratic candidate Gary Friedman for lending his own campaign $101,000, comparing Mr. Friedman to Bernard Madoff and describing his action as duplicitous. These accusations are made despite that fact that the BVBL post itself links to the campaign finance filing showing that absolutely nothing wrong has taken place. The allegation is that candidate Friedman is attempting to deceive the voters of Prince William County into thinking that his support is broader than it actually is.
Let’s look at another case of a candidate moving money around to create an illusion of broad popular support. Corey Stewart seems to think that his Virginia Rule of Law campaign is a rousing success and, rather than doing the job he was elected to do as Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, has been touring Virginia over the past few months promoting his scheme.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, after months of campaigning and publicity, total contributions to Stewart’s Virginia Rule of Law PAC are only $19,054. Of that amount, $5,000 is a transfer from the Stewart for PWC Board of County Supervisors Committee, and $8,849 is a loan from the Stewart for PWC Board of County Supervisors Committee. $13,849 out of $19,054 is nothing but money “laundered” from Stewart campaign coffers to deceive Virginians into believing that his relentless traversing of our commonwealth has built broad support for this campaign. The opposite is, in fact, true.
Let’s look at Stewart’s campaigns for the PWC Board of Supervisors. Between 2002 and 2004, mostly when campaigning for the Occoquan District seat, which was much cheaper to win than the Chair of the Board of County Supervisors election costs today, Stewart loaned his campaign $22,500. In relative terms, that’s a larger percentage of the cost of an election than will be Friedman’s $101,000 donation to his own campaign. Stewart repaid himself from campaign funds in 2008; the same year in which developer money started to represent the bulk of his campaign contributions.
Friedman trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes? Why no outrage at Stewart’s PAC and campaign financing techniques? Gary Friedman has committed no legal or ethical violation. Comparing Friedman to Madoff and calling him duplicitous in light of Stewart’s many years of campaign finance shenanigans ignores reality in its entirety. If Friedman is Madoff, then Stewart is the entire banking lobby and mortgage-backed securities industry whose lies and corruption brought down our economy in 2008.