Tuesday, June 19, 2007

OUTRAGE: Election Board Gives Kelty Pass On Hidden Loans

Making a complete mockery of Indiana's campaign finance laws, the Allen Co. Election Board spit on, tore up and set afire a law intended to compel candidates for public office to disclose the source of their campaign contributions. On a party-line vote, the Board said it's okay that Kelty lied and cheated his way through his close primary race against Nelson Peters by hiding nearly $160,000 he received in the form of a loan from close friends because, after he got caught misrepresenting the source of the money, he confessed his sins like the good Christian he professes to be. The end result of today's decision is that candidates for public office are being given an open invitation to lie about the true source of their campaign funds. The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Benjamin Lanka reports:

Republican Fort Wayne mayoral nominee Matt Kelty correctly reported $158,000 in loans to his campaign, according to a party-line vote by the Allen County Election Board. The board voted 2-1 on a motion saying Kelty did not violate campaign finance laws.

Allen County Clerk of Courts Therese Brown and member David Wright, both Republicans, voted to clear Kelty. Andy Downs, Democratic member, said he believed Kelty did violate the law and the matter should be investigated by a prosecutor.

According to campaign finance forms, Kelty reported giving himself loans of $140,000 and $8,000 on Dec. 27. He also reported lending himself another $8,000
in April and delinquently reported a $2,000 loan in late May.After winning the primary election, Kelty revealed the source of the loans were personal loans made to him from campaign staffers.

Fred Rost, a campaign advisor and president of Allen County Right to Life, loaned Kelty $150,000. Kelty also received a $10,000 loan from Glenna and Steve Jehl. Glenna Jehl is Kelty’s campaign manager.

James Bopp, Kelty’s attorney, argued Kelty was correct in how he reported the loans. He said state law does not require disclosing the source of personal loans.

This is a very sad day for the Allen Co. Republicans. Today's decision forfeits any right they have to reclaim the mayor's office in Fort Wayne. If this is the kind of corrupt leadership they have to offer for the people of Fort Wayne, then they don't deserve to run the city for the next four years.


Anonymous said...

What has griped my ass more than anything else, is the constant references to Bopp as an election law expert from Terrible Haute.


Gary, Indiana's election laws are wide enough to drive a truck through. It's time we reformed them, real well...but guess who'd have to do that?

America's worst state legislature, which benefits greatly from the gray areas and sloppy report laws. Compliance is, to say the least, optional.

It closely mirrors the lobbying reporting requirements. Which is to say, it's checkbook regulation.

Advance Indiana said...

The problem in this particularly case is not the written law as much as it is a politically-driven board which only cares about protecting its candidate and could give a damn less about the rule of law. This outcome would not have been reached in many other states with language nearly identical to Indiana's law. We've seen this happen in Marion Co. and other counties as well. The election board's are a joke and should be abolished. The only people ever appointed to these boards are people who will do as they are ordered by their party. This case must be prosecuted. If he's allowed to walk on this, then our government has completely failed us and there's no reason to have confidence in our electoral process. Kelty cheated, pure and simple. If the voters had known he was being bankrolled by this one individual in particular, a public debate would have ensued that might have produced a much different outcome than what occurred here.

ROACH said...

ROACH said...
Indiana state law requires many boards and cmissions to have whats called "partisan balance"- that means that there is supposed to be a proportion ing of board members between party's.
One of those boards specified_I dont have the direct law citation; but its there, trust me, or look it up yourself- is county election boards.
Last time I checked, there is an active Libertarian party in allen county- ask bob enders; as well as a Libertarian State party, and should be in every county.

this means that due to the Libs having ballot access, a legitimate 3rd party, that all boards, comissions, and such should have libertarians on them ; including the allen county election board.
As such, this lack of "Partisan balance" renders the ACEB to be an illegally Constituted board, and as such, all decisions rendered by the ACEB null and void, due to illegal composition. As well as all previous decisions by all illegally constituted boards, and commissions as far back as the Libertarian Party has had legal 3rd party ballot access.
I love the thought that this will throw a monky wrench into the works, require 1000's of $$$ to correct , give all aggreived citizens the right to appeal any an all illegally derived decisions by these illegaly consituted boards, and creates a crisis for the Governor, the State house, and any involved administraqtive laws, decisions, appelas, and opens the state of Indiana up to potentially bankrupting magnitude of back judgements, court costs, settlements, and related topics... giggle!!!
This has been a ticking time-bomb, and should Mr. Downs decide to pursue this matter, after his embarassing smackdown by a backwater, nutjob, hick hoosier town lawyer; It will be fun to see.
The ACEB was hornswoggled by Bopp, a "traveling snakeoil salesman"; bambloozled, hoodwinked.
As Bugs Bunny would say- "What a maroon".
Ive read election laws- frequently- you wouldnt play monopoly, without knowing the little quirks that will bankrupt you opponent when he lands on your Park Place, packed with "Roach- Motels"; would you?
Nor should you play the election game without playing by the rules, and knowing the minutia that will keep you from being tripped up.
Brown, Wright, and Downs make a mockery of the system, by their incompetence, and being cowed by Bopp, afore mentioned 1 man traveling circus sideshwo.
Chalk another 1 up for the pro-lifer koolaid drinking nutjobs; and their charlatan lawyers...

10001110101 said...

Did anyone really think for one minute the result would be any different. Even if you had "partisan balance" - two Democrats and two Republicans there would have been a tie vote and the result would have been the same. This result tells me the R'$, as one should have predicted, closed ranks in Allen County to protect their candidate. Now we have to see if the prosecuting attorney will take any action, on her own initiative, to look into this matter - wake me up when that happens.

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

The prosecuting attorney is a Republican who supported Nelson Peters. If anything is done at the prosecutorial end, the office will need to step back and call in a special prosecutor.

The Republicans may have "closed ranks" on this one, but there is still an election in November.

Given the acrimony in the Republican party to Kelty and his victory, I look for many Republicans to do one of two things this Fall - either sit out the election or vote for Tom Henry.

Anonymous said...

The law needs changed, Gary, as noted...but again, look who has to do it:

Indiana General Assembly.

Do you REALLY have ANY faith that those goofs will change it? Election Boards are constituted by state statute.

This sad story continues on a smaller basis in multiple counties across the state.

Jeff Pruitt said...

I'm not sure how you could even change the law to make it more clear than it already is. This is but one of many examples in our county where local leaders simply thumb their noses at the rule of law...

credo said...

Tom Henry, does not have a pray of a chance against anyone running on the republican ticket. Fewer Dems voters is why.

The Dem are so busy trying to be friends of the republicans elite that they can't grow their own party.

Henry does not even have a campaign manager! The Dem strategy is that Republicans will be so upset with Kelty that republicans will vote DEm!!!!

This is wishful thinking because the Democrats are short on voters. During Kelty misstep, the Dems did little but attempted to create a climate of guilt that fell at foot of the 2 members of the Allen County Election Board.

It was stated at the meeting that no fines have been leveled against those who violate campaign filing.

The office notify the offender twice, to allow the offender time to come in to take care of any problem. Why was Kelty treated different? They wanted to know where Kelty money came from.

Fred Rost and the Jehl names were used as a smear campaign in their support of the unpopular Kelty, by his own party.

From Nelson Peters:

"Finally, the support that I received from elected officials was not by way of the Republican Party. For each of the elected officials who backed me, I had to personally ask for that support. Although individual office holders stood up on my behalf, the Republican Party as a body did not endorse me."

This was a republican writing about the unified Republican Party in a letter to the editor in the two local newspapers.