Thursday, February 19, 2015
Portage Mayor's Campaign Expenditures More Troubling Than Elwood Mayor's
Forget the trivial expenditures Elwood Mayor Ron Arnold (R) made from his campaign committee that led to his forced resignation from office to avoid criminal charges. Portage Mayor Jim Snyder's campaign expenditures are far more troubling. According to the Northwest Indiana Times, the FBI dropped by to pick up a copy of his latest campaign finance report earlier this week. He raised $138,000 last year, but he spent all of that and then some in a non-election year, ending the year $18,000 in the red.
Mayor Snyder's largest campaign expenditure last year was a $25,000 payment he made to the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn to assist him in an ongoing FBI investigation. He paid another $2,500 to a local law firm, Dogan & Dogan, for that same criminal investigation. Snyder also paid his wife $8,000 for "campaign work" and spent $695 on child care expenses for his children. An expenditure of $7,154 was to reimburse the city's utility board for expenditures he made for a trip he claimed as "city business." The Times says the FBI last year requested information on the money Snyder had reimbursed to the utility board for the trip after requested by the board to do so.
The Porter County Democratic Party filed an election law complaint against Mayor Snyder last month after he failed to file his campaign finance report for last year by the statutory deadline. Snyder is seeking re-election as mayor this year. According to the Chicago Tribune, Snyder's former campaign treasurer quit and his new treasurer had to file amended campaign finance reports for 2011-2013.