UPDATE: Jim Bopp landed in Fort Wayne earlier today to announce that Matt Kelty had done nothing wrong. WANE-TV reports:
An attorney hired by Matt Kelty said in a noon news conference that the Republican nominee for Fort Wayne mayor is in complete compliance with campaign finance laws. James Bopp is considered an expert in campaign finance law. He is based in Terre Haute, but is also well-known on the national level.
Bopp contends that Kelty has actually done more than is required by law and has done nothing wrong.
Last week, questions were raised concerning the origin of $158,000 in Kelty campaign funds. Initially, those contributions were listed as coming from him. But Kelty submitted new paperwork to the Allen County Election Board reflecting the funds in question were actually loans from members of his campaign staff. The election board has asked Kelty for further details before it can hold a public hearing on the matter to determine if anything illegal was done.
Allen County Democratic Chairman Kevin Knuth attended the news conference and NewsChannel 15 spoke to him afterwards. Knuth says despite what Bopp claims, there's still a question of ethics even if no laws were broken and that will be an issue with voters.
Let me get this straight. He didn't report $160,000 in loans he received from three individuals to finance his uphill battle against party favorite Nelson Peters, which constituted more than three-quarters of the money he raised during the primary. Instead, he said he loaned the money to his campaign from his own personal funds. A few party leaders catch wind of the actual source of the loans, tell him he broke the law and ask him to come clean. Kelty fesses up and amends his campaign report to reflect the true sources of the loans. And we're supposed to believe he didn't break the law because Jim Bopp says he didn't break the law? Don't forget that Bopp's testimony before the Indiana Senate concerning the effect of SJR-7 was contradicted by a prominent Reagan-appointed judge, J. Harvie Wilkinson, III. It seems to me that Right to Life has a lot of exposure here in this mess and Bopp is in full damage control mode.