Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Standard-Examiner Editorial: OUR VIEW: Sleazy Campaign Cash

We can't help grousing that the SE editorial board waited until mid-2011 to fully and finally articulate its apparent anti-corporate campaign contribution epiphany stance

Top-notch editorial in this morning's Standard-Examiner, properly lambasting all parties involved in the recently publicized Edward W. Conard stealth campaign donation scam:
So let's understand this: A former financial services industry executive, Edward W. Conard, starts a company, W Spann LLC, which contributes $1 million to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign without his name being mentioned. Soon after the donation is made, the company, W Spann LLC, is discontinued.

Apparently that's all legal, but it really stinks.
Read the entire editorial here:
"Bully to the SE editorial board," we say. They're entirely correct. The Conard/W.Spann LLC campaign contribution scheme is the very definition of "sleazy." And yes, we agree with the Standard. Corporate campaign donations ought to be banned, if not by the force of law... then voluntarily.

But where was the Standard editorial board however, we ask, when many of us on Weber County Forum were screaming our lungs out about another analogous stealth "corporate" campaign donation situation, the Envision Ogden Scandal?

If this phony-baloney fly-by-night W.Spann LLC isn't almost completely analogous to the continuingly mysterious 2007 Ogden municipal election's Friends of Northern Utah Real Estate (FNURE) organizational "shell," we'll invite any and all who are in disagreement with us on this point to step right up and explain why the comparison doesn't fit.

However delighted we may be to praise this morning's strong SE editorial, we can't help grousing that the editorial board waited until mid-2011 to fully and finally articulate its apparent anti-corporate campaign contribution epiphany stance.


Dan S. said...

Rudi, this isn't exactly an "epiphany" for the editorial board. They've also consistently supported the UEG petition which would ban corporate contributions in state-level races. But you're correct to point out that they've stayed eerily silent on the issue at the local level.

Dan S. said...

The parallels to Envision Ogden and FNURE are quite striking. You could almost rewrite the whole editorial, changing the names to local ones. But there are some important differences. 

FNURE wasn't even a corporation; it was a completely unregistered entity. FNURE contributed directly to candidates, not to a PAC, so it was subject to the laws prohibiting anonymous and laundered contributions to candidates. And most importantly, the media completely ignored FNURE until more than a year after the election was over.

But we may soon learn more about FNURE. Tomorrow I will appear before the State Records Committee to argue for the release of the last of the records of the Attorney General's investigation into Envision Ogden and FNURE. Among those records should be the canceled checks from the former to the latter. The signatures on the backs of those canceled checks should tell us who controlled FNURE. Will the committee order the release of these records? I don't know.

rudizink said...

Thanks for the GRAMA  appeal update, Dan.  Hopefully, you'll be able to provide our WCF readers at least a short report on tomorrow's State Records Board hearing.

And thanks so much for all you do for Ogden City, Dan.

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