Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trusting Blackburn

Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-Williamson County) is amending her 2002 campaign disclosure forms. Seems they found some errors and need to clean things up. Her new Republican opponent Tom Leatherwood (currently Shelby County Register of Deeds) is making hay of the situation while he can:

Leatherwood: "While many families are struggling just to make the monthly budget in this poor economy, Congressman Blackburn has misplaced over a quarter of a million dollars. If we can't trust her to manage her own budget, how can we trust her to manage our tax dollars?" (via Tn Politics Blog)
And how does the economic situation have anything to do with campaign finance errors? It's OK in good times but not bad? And nowhere does it say she didn't manage her budget well. No one said she failed to pay her bills.

Misplaced is a long way from lost or embezzled.

This wasn't tax money that was part of the accounting error. It was private donations to her campaign.

What needs to be out front is this paragraph from the Tennessean:
"Blackburn said her campaign discovered the discrepancies during a months-long review of its records after her bookkeeper and fundraiser raised concerns. The campaign contacted the Federal Election Commission last summer about the problems."


"Blackburn blamed the unreported donations on a credit card company that handled online donations and inexperienced campaign workers who deposited checks without recording them in the ledger of donations reported to the FEC."
HER campaign caught the errors. HER campaign contacted the FEC. The FEC didn't notice anything about these 2002 finances that was amiss. I've done some bookkeeping in my time. Stuff happens. That's why you double check. It's why you routinely audit. No one actually expects the books to always be 100% perfect. They do expect them to be reviewed in a timely fashion and corrected quickly. I'm willing to bet she won't let 6 years pass before her records get a through going over again. Let's see if Mr. Leatherwood's campaign glass house does it better. Maybe we should go back and examine his records from his first race for the State Senate.

As an aside, I have always appreciated her keeping the 'congressMAN' title. Seems to me if the feminists really want equity...they wouldn't quibble about her not being called 'congressWOman'.

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