Oxendine Investigation Derailed

Interesting happenings in the State Ethics Commissions investigations into John Oxendine’s PAC contributions.

You’ll recall over a year ago, the AJC reported that Oxendine’s campaign for Governor got $120,000 in $12,000 installment from 10 Alabama PACs connected to Oxendine’s friend, and hunting partner Delos “Dee” Yancey III.

Well, the State Ethics Commission opened an investigation, and subpoenaed the 10 PACs in Alabama. The PACs told the State Ethics Commission to get bent, the SEC’s jurisdiction doesn’t apply in Alabama. So the SEC subpoenaed Yancy’s firms in Georgia.

Those firms dragged their feet, then filed a lawsuit in Fulton Superior Court saying that the State Ethics Commission shouldn’t be allowed to do their job this close to an election, because some members might be politically motivated. Who ever heard of political appointees being politically motivated?

Anyway, Fulton Superior Court Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams ruled that all hearings into this matter be postponed till she holds a hearing on the matter. After all, why should GOP Primary voters be informed about the candidates they are voting on.

The State Ethics Commission held some debate on what constituted “this matter” – the subpoenas from the firms in question or the entire Oxendine investigation. They had initially determined that the court’s ruling applied to Yancey’s firms only, but today the AJC is reporting that the State Ethics Commission has decided to cancel a scheduled hearing into the entire investigation.

Clearly someone has something to hide.

26 comments

  1. Technocrat says:

    Perhaps the people who requested the money from donors, deposited the checks, and are no longer a part of of the campaign should be asked why they did it.
    Not the first time a candidate has been set up by secret opposition who get paid by how much they raise.

    Depositing 10 identical checks on the same day is something a 5th grader might do, not a seasoned politican or political operative.
    This is a number 1 warning flag of money laundering if you work in a bank.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      Techno,

      Get your facts right. They were not 10 identical checks, nor were they deposited on the same day. They were for varying amounts, in different names, on different days. They only way they could have been caught as from the same source is if all the of checks were entered with a return address on them and sorted by address. As a matter of fact, I think that’s how they were caught.

      IMO, Yancy broke the law, but it’s plausible that the OX campaign didn’t catch it.

      • B Balz says:

        Doug, your suggestion begs the ‘wax nose’ argument:

        Either they were inept or illegal, either way, it will play heck in November.

        • Doug Grammer says:

          I don’t know that I was suggesting anything.

          They were not 10 identical checks, nor were they deposited on the same day. They were for varying amounts, in different names, on different days.

          Which of those facts are not true?

          If you mean this as my suggestion: “They only way they could have been caught as from the same source is if all the of checks were entered with a return address on them and sorted by address.” without using the address, how would you know they were all coming from the same place?

          See my comment below for more details.

  2. Technocrat says:

    It seems the last thing the other camps want to hear is NOT GUILTY, no valid case!
    It seems [a more friendly] Deal came to that conclusion long ago and only Handel’s troops keep praying.
    May the better MAN win.

    • I Am Jacks Post says:

      ” . . . the last thing the other camps want to hear is NOT GUILTY, no valid case!”

      That’s a very generous reading of the court’s decision. And by “generous,” I mean “horse crap.”

  3. AlanR says:

    what have we learned? do all the questionable stuff close to the election and claim that its too close to the election to be investigated. Always better to apologize than ask for permission.

    Day in and day out I think our ethics commission does a good job. I hope they have the resources to pursue this up the appeals ladder.

    • Ambernappe says:

      “Better” not to engage in questionable activities; “easier ” to apologize” (I guess); don’t even ask for permission. But these concepts only apply to a person who clearly recognizes right from wrong.

  4. sahughes says:

    And the crap-heap that is the Georgia GOP primaries gets a little higher…

    Maybe this is all a conspiracy that is apart of Barnes’ master plan, because it’s working well. (not serious for the sarcastically impaired)

  5. Technocrat says:

    But Barnes doesn’t understand minorities, gays, and teachers.
    November will see a bigger landslide than OX’s 1996 WIN …. for those who forget it was 65.6% = 1,357,770 voters said YES

  6. one n done says:

    And about 1,357,769 have been repenting since then and 1 has been screwing us all over since then…whats your point?

  7. The General says:

    If Ox is the nominee, I’m moving to Alabama. At least I’ll have Dale Peterson then.

  8. Game Fan says:

    Looks like you guys are starting to butt heads with the status quo. Perhaps you’ve alerted the beast State. Stepped on one of his tentacles perhaps. Keep up the good work. And if we ever get into some heavy fighting, I’ll be behind you guys, every step of the way. 🙂

  9. The Ethics Commission held off on its hearing because it doesn’t have all the evidence, since Yancey won’t give up his financial records. Not because the alleged “Karen Handel drones” on the commission decided they had been exposed.

    And Doug, the checks to Oxendine were all written on the same two dates in 2008: Sept. 25 and Dec. 31. All the Sept. 25 checks were for $2,000. On Dec. 31, for whatever reason, each PAC wrote three checks: one for $1,100, one for $3,900 and one for $5,000.

    This info is available here:

    http://www.ethics.ga.gov/Reports/Campaign/Campaign_ByContributionsearchresults.aspx?Contributor=&Zip=&City=birmingham&ContTypeID=0&PAC=&Employer=&Occupation=&From=9/25/2008&To=12/31/2008&Cash=&InK=&Filer=&Candidate=oxendine&Committee=

    I would speculate that the checks might even have come in one envelope, rather than 40 different envelopes. But there’s no way to know that right now.

    • Doug Grammer says:

      I knew they came in on different dates, but not on just 2 dates.

      The page you pulled up only had PACs. Looking at all contributions for that period, There were 96 contributions on 12/31/2008. 63 of them were not from the same P.O. Box. I can see a staffer doing data entry not catching it, but the Treasurer should have caught it. Then again, if the Treasurer was only checking to make sure the campaign didn’t spend more than what it and wasn’t looking for it….I can see how it could have been missed. Looking over this page of all contributions for the period, in a glance I don’t think I would have caught it.

      Interestingly enough, the FHA PAC had $7,000 for the primary, which is more than the $6,300 allowed. It didn’t list anything for the run off, which all the other PACs from AL did. I would have caught that.

      http://www.ethics.ga.gov/Reports/Campaign/Campaign_ByContributions_RFR.aspx?NameID=448&FilerID=C2008000305&CDRID=20671&Name=Oxendine,%20John%20Weimann&Year=2008&Report=December%2031st%20-%20Non-Election%20Year

      • Dave Bearse says:

        For starters, any campaign ought to be paying special attention to maximum contributions. Then consider the $120,000 was a significant fraction (~20%+? nor sure) of what the Ox campaign had raised to date at the time of the contributions. The Ox is either a sloppy manager, or he didnt’ want to connect the dots.

        • B Balz says:

          Maybe some campaigns are run under the Rule of Ungracious Ineptitude whereby the candidate assumes big contributions from the entities they regulate (ungracious) and/or chooses NOT to vet the legality of contributions. (inept/illegal).

          These traits are not appealing to this GOP voter, knowing our State is facing huge budget decisions in 2011-12. On purpose or by accident your comment ‘suggested’ a defense, (ineptitude or worse) toward what happened. That is not a criticism of you, personally.

          Your follow-up statement implies ineptitude to this ol’ GOP taxpaying voter. Still not a personal criticism, just an observation.

          We ALL KNOW Roy is going to chew this ol’ boy a new one. If the GOP loses this cycle, I will be disgusted and angry. The folks that got us to the dance are the ones who must feel 100X that way.

          • Doug Grammer says:

            I agree it’s an issue that should be investigated. If Yancy weren’t so sloppy to use just 1 PO Box instead of 10, would it have ever been caught? If someone wanted to look at the board of directors for each PAC and they were the same, this would have been brought out into the open as well. If the boards were different, would it have been caught?

            I give it the possibility that it was ineptness that allowed this to happen instead of collusion. Let Com. Oxendine’s numbers take whatever dip is appropriate in the polls and on election day for being inept. It’s better than to have to withdraw and face the courts. If it can be proven that the Oxendine campaign knew exactly where these funds where coming from, throw the book at him. From what I have seen, Yancy knew what he was doing and deserves the current legal penalties for that. I don’t know if that jail time, a fine, or a slap on the wrist. I haven’t seen enough to show that Com. Oxendine knew what was going on. If it can be proven that he knew, Com. Oxendine deserves the current legal penalties, whatever that they may be.

            The bigger picture is how can we make the system more transparent? In this case, the disclosures were looked over and PAC’s came out.

            • B Balz says:

              Agreed.

              Now, as in in February, I remain unconvinced that voters will pillory Mr. Oxendine on this issue, after all he returned the money.

              Tossing Mr. Yancey ‘under the bus’ provides ‘plausible deniablility’, which is a characteristic I despise in any government official.

  10. Lady Thinker says:

    I just wish Karen had all the power some of you posters give her. She would have this state reorganized in no time with time to spare.

  11. hannah says:

    Trying to regulate political campaigns by targeting the donors is a bad idea. It is, however, consistent with the Republican belief that agents are rulers and that the purpose of government is to direct the behavior of the population. That the people rule just doesn’t register with status-seeking politicos.
    If the behavior of potential office holders is to be affected, restrict them to only accepting financial contributions from individuals who are also qualified to vote for them. Taking bribes is a crime. Anticipatory bribes should be able to be folded in.

    • Game Fan says:

      “Regulating contributions” can be debated on it’s own merits. “Enforcement of existing laws/rules/regs” should be an easy concept for conservatives. If you don’t think McCain violated McCain Feingold, you probably didn’t look very hard. And I can’t find anything in conservatism that precludes “everyone else” from raising a stink when “the money” paid to “the guy” is coming from “parts unkown”.

  12. Dave Bearse says:

    PACs that are beyond the reach of the State’s Ethics Commission (if that’s how this eventually shakes out) ought to be prohibited from making contributions to candidates for state and local office.

Comments are closed.