So, it’s nearing the end of spring break/Easter week, and folks with some spare time on their hands are using it to go through disclosures. And, because my friends are generous people, some choose to share their findings with me. And because I’m a generous guy, I’ll share this tidbit with you.
Remember way back when – that time everyone was pretending an ethics report that had been delivered to Congressman Deal didn’t exist? Well, the now re-assigned spokesperson was referring folks who dared to ask of such reports existance to Deal’s attorney. And boy was that expensive.
According to Deal’s March 31 Disclosure, the Deal Campaign racked up over $17,000 in legal fees to the firm of McKenna Long and Aldridge. And I’m sure all those fees were strictly campaign related, because, well, that’s all you can spend campaign money on.
I’m sure it’s just strong coincidence that McKenna submitted the response and Deal’s “Summary Of Facts” to the OCE on January 25th, (starts p 93) and that legal bills from the campaing to McKenna were paid in the amount of $8,377.80 on January 5th, and $8,986.85 on February 1st. It just makes good sense to get $17K of campaing “legal work” done while the same firm is simultaneously working an ethics defense.
I’d call over to the Deal campaign to ask for more details and assurance that the campaign wasn’t spending campaign money on a Congressional Ethics Complaint defense, but I don’t have the heart to get another “No Comment”, nor do I wish to have a campaign that is still spending more money than it is taking in to have to pay an attorney out of campaign funds to answer my questions.
Updated: After checking the report from the previous period ending Dec 31, 2009, it appears that the total paid to McKenna is closer to $40K, with a significant increase in the October – December timeframe, when the ethics complaint was originally filed by CREW. And according to the first commenter, the AP wire has Deal’s spokesperson acknowledging that this is in fact for legal defense relating to his Congressional Ethics complaint. The logic appears to be that this is a “politically motivated witch hunt”, and therefore, using campaign funds to defend an action taken as a US Congressman prior to his announcement that he was running for Governor is kosher.
I’m thinking that strains logic. You guys fight it out. I’m sure someone will be along soon to explain GA code to us soon.
Updated Again: Shannon McAffrey of the AP had this well before I did, and Jim Galloway brings you her report here.