Thursday, October 23, 2008

Has Montagano Been Keltied?

Democrats were gloating earlier this week over former GOP mayoral candidate Matt Kelty's pleading guilty to felony campaign finance-related charges. As I noted at the time, there are a lot of candidates playing fast and loose with our campaign finance laws and, if we had a few more tough prosecutors like Dan Sigler, you would see a lot more politicians facing a fate similar to Kelty's. Well, today the National Republican Congressional Committee filed a complaint against 3rd District Democratic congressional candidate Mike Montagano, a young lawyer, for allegedly violating federal campaign finance laws by receiving money from his father in violation of federal contribution limits and for failing to disclose financial assistance from his father as contributions to his campaign.

Despite leaving his full-time job at Stuart & Branigan's Indianapolis office in May, 2007 to run full-time for Congress, Montagano managed to purchase a $326,000 home with the help of his father in the Third District according to the complaint. A mortgage was later recorded for the home in the amount of $226,000 showing Montagano and his father as co-signors. His father paid the property taxes on the home according to tax records the report alleges. His father serves as Montagano's campaign treasurer. The complaint notes that the jobless Montagano purchased or leased a $34,000 Hummer H3 and made a loan of $33,500 to his campaign last year. According to the complaint, the financial assistance Montagano received from is father was not disclosed on his FEC reports as contributions and, due to the amount of money involved, the payments from Montagano's father greatly exceeded the per election contributions limits set forth for individuals in the federal law.

A big hat tip to Hoosier Access.

UPDATE: The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette has more here. Montagano declined to be interviewed for their story.

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