I have heard that Anna Lee and Tom Whitmore filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission claiming financial irregularities by 10th District Chairman Howie Lind and Treasurer Shak Hill yesterday. I have not seen the complaint, nor is it available on the FEC website. Too Conservative has posted about questions involving 10th District finances in the past, and I expect the complaint has something to do with those.
While it is hardly surprising to see this sort of behavior from Anna Lee and the JoAnn Chase crowd, I am rather surprised that Tom Whitmore became a part of this. When Republicans running for party office resort to filing complaints with the FEC instead of seeking resolution to their concerns in-house, in my view it raises some very grave concerns about their fitness.
Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE 1: Howie has responded with this in an email to Committee members:
As you may already know, on April 2, Tom Whitmore – with Anna Lee’s signature as witness – submitted an official complaint with the Federal Election Commission against the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee for alleged election code violations relating to incomplete disclosures.
This complaint has one clear and simple purpose: to intimidate and discredit the entire 10th District Committee. However, I can assure you that this filing is frivolous and without merit, and will not stand.
Here are the facts:
1. The 10th District Committee leadership and financial team have been open and responsive over recent months in dealing with a series of requests from members for financial records.
Over the last several months, I have received threatening emails from the above individuals and a few others requesting two sets of financial records: the Committee’s bank records and the rental agreement for our Victory Office in Leesburg. I sent the rental agreement in an April 1 email to the entire Committee. Separately, the Committee’s treasurer, Shak Hill, sent spreadsheets that he created from the bank records in a more readable format than the monthly postings we receive. There was and is nothing to hide in these bank records. All of the information from them is contained in the spreadsheets.
In addition to these communications, I have been keeping the entire Committee apprised of the contents of these records, including an oral presentation at the Committee meeting on February 7.
In my 10th District update email on March 7, I also stated that we were in the process of amending FEC reports for 2011 as a result of the untimely death last summer of our prior Treasurer, Charles Proctor, and the replacement in January of the individual responsible for our FEC filings. On April 1, I informed all Committee members by email that the amended reports had been filed.
2. All required FEC reports, including financial disbursements, have been posted on the FEC site in a timely manner, and 10th District Committee members have also been apprised of that fact.
On March 30, the person responsible for our filings posted amended federal reports, including the full range of disbursements, on the FEC online site using new FEC software. These reports were complete and correctly filled out. However, because of his unfamiliarity with the software, the filer did not activate a specific setting to display all disbursements.
As mentioned above, on April 1, I informed all members of the 10th District Committee that the reports had been posted, in keeping with my policy and practice keeping you apprised of all financial and other activities. Since the oversight in activating the setting was brought to our attention, the setting is being corrected and the disbursements will be displayed properly. We will respond expeditiously to the FEC complaint, and we expect this matter to be closed out without any finding of violation or penalty to the Committee.
3. Mr. Whitmore and Ms. Lee chose to file the complaint without checking with the leadership team as to its substance or merit, and in direct contradiction to the best interests of the 10th District Committee, its members, and the Republican Party.
Despite my assurances in my April 1 correspondence that all financial information had been filed, Mr. Whitmore and Ms. Lee chose to file a complaint to the FEC — the very next day — claiming that not all of our disbursements had been included in our reports – literally making a federal case out of a software glitch. They filed this complaint without contacting me for an explanation or, in the best interests of the Committee, working with us to ensure that all appropriate information was included.
Mr. Whitmore and Ms. Lee took this action knowing that the very fact of an FEC complaint will serve to discredit the Committee and its leadership in the eyes of Party members and the public, that past internecine warfare of this nature has badly hurt our electoral prospects, and that actions of this nature could expose the entire Committee membership to legal liability.
Mr. Whitmore’s and Ms. Lee’s behavior hardly represents the kind of constructive, cooperative, unified approach that has contributed to our recent string of electoral success and that one would expect from individuals holding themselves out as candidates for Party leadership.
I want to reassure you, again, that this filing is frivolous and without merit, and that I will personally take the lead in responding and resolving the matter with the FEC. And equally important, I have no intention of letting this trivial and small-minded action distract us from the truly critical business before the Committee:
1. Handing a unified Party over to my successor.
2. Doing our part to evict the current occupant from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
3. Reclaiming Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat for the Republican Party; and
3. Ensuring Frank Wolf yet another overwhelming re-election victory in the 10th Congressional District.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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