Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bill O'Reilly Has Dirt On Christine O'Donnell, States Democrats Shouldn't Use Her Words Against Her

I thought this was interesting - on The Huffington Post, there was this piece about Bill O'Reilly discussing the Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell:
Bill O'Reilly said that he has tape of some "crazy stuff" Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has said on his show in the past, but that he's not going to play it — yet (via Mediaite).

O'Reilly made the comments during a segment on Monday's "O'Reilly Factor." Speaking with Fox News analysts Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham, he called O'Donnell's now-infamous comments about witchcraft "dopey," but said that Democrats shouldn't be using the comments against her. Yet O'Reilly also chided the Delaware Republican for backing out of her planned appearances on two Sunday talk shows last week.
I found this very funny because O'Reilly and his fellow coworkers at Fox News love to play clips of Obama and others out of context to use against them - just tune into any Glenn Beck episode.  O'Reilly knows her comments can be damaging should they float around in the media for much longer.

If it's not okay to talk about O'Donnell's self-admitted witchcraft, then is it okay to talk about how she misused campaign finances to pay her rent?

According to this report by Ben Nuckols for The Christian Science Monitor, O'Donnell had used more then $20,000 in campaign funds to pay her rent and other personal expenses, which has now led to a complaint filed by a non-partisan watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.  O'Donnell's response is typical - to try and attack the funding of the group to indicate that they are not a "neutral arbiter of ethics."  That argument is funny because the organization has also attacked the White House over alleged violations.
The complaint is based largely on a sworn statement by David Keegan, a former campaign finance consultant for O'Donnell. Keegan's nephew, Brent Vasher, purchased O'Donnell's Wilmington, Del., home for her in 2008 because she was facing foreclosure, according to Keegan's affidavit.

Vasher began charging O'Donnell $750 a month in rent in January 2009, and in March and April of that year, she paid the rent from her campaign treasury, according to the complaint. Documents filed with the FEC show two $750 payments to Vasher during the months in question. The payments are listed as reimbursement for expenses.

CREW also alleges that O'Donnell spent campaign money on gas for personal travel, meals and a bowling outing. This year, she continued to use the campaign treasury to pay rent at her new residence in Greenville, Del., which doubles as her campaign headquarters, as well as utility and wireless phone bills. The questionable 2010 expenses total more than $20,000.

O'Donnell has also been subject to an IRS tax lien and has been accused of leaving a trail of unpaid bills.
Doesn't that sound fishy?  A woman who is being investigated by the IRS for not paying bills sells her home to a relative of a former campaign finance consultant but still lives in the home, and on top of that, she then uses campaign funds to pay for half her rent?

In another article for the Christian Science Monitor, Peter Grier writes that in addition to being behind on her rent, O'Donnell is also behind in the polls:
No, her biggest current problem may be that if the election were today, she would lose. After all the hoopla over her stunning upset in Delaware’s GOP Senate primary, and all the free publicity she got, and all the money that’s pouring into her campaign, she remains 15 points behind Democratic opponent Chris Coons, according to a just-released Fox News poll.

That’s kind of a wake-up call for her campaign, isn’t it? And if you dig down into the results of the survey (which was conducted right after the primary, in case you’re wondering) the news for Ms. O’Donnell does not get better.

Fully 60 percent of respondents said they did not believe O’Donnell is qualified to be a US Senator, while 60 percent said that opponent Coons is qualified.

And here’s the real burn: Mike Castle, the guy O’Donnell sent packing in the primary, appears to be the person the Delaware electorate as a whole actually wants. He’s 15 points ahead of Coons in the Fox poll, at 48 percent to 33 percent.
This is the problem with closed primaries - there is no room left for those people in the center of the political spectrum.  Primaries are generally determined by the party base, meaning that the victor is less representative of the general electorate.  The situation in Delaware is a perfect example of a primary fail...

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