Thursday, September 30, 2010

Turner Denies Young Dems Campaign Finance Allegations

By Eric Yun

There are plenty of esoteric rules and regulations governing political campaigns, and it can quickly get hectic for newcomers. Republican candidate for Congress Bob Turner is discovering this fact after allegations arose about improper finance reports to the Federal Election Committee (FEC).

Turner is challenging Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Kew Gardens) in the 9th U.S. Congressional District, which covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

The Queens County of Young Democrats (QCYD) pounced on a request for additional information the FEC sent to Turner’s campaign and filed a formal complaint letter outlining alleged missing information from Turner’s campaign finance reports.

Among the complaints from the QCYD, Turner has not reported anything other than rent as campaign expenditures. They questioned why newspaper ads, staff salaries and other expenditures were not listed with the FEC.

“I am worried that Mr. Turner is not in compliance with clear, well-understood campaign finance rules. Knowingly and willfully violating these rules is a crime,” wrote Costa Constantinides, President of QCYD.

Turner’s campaign con- tends these allegations are simply not true, and, according to files from the FEC website, Turner’s campaign does have listed ex- penditures for more than just rent. “All our campaign expenditures have been filed with the FEC and any question by the FEC will be re- sponded to in a timely basis,” said Matt Turner, spokesman for the Turner campaign.

The initial request for additional information from the FEC, according to Turner’s campaign, involved missing addresses on personal checks donated to the campaign. The FEC has given a deadline of October 26 to respond, and Turner said the campaign would comply with that deadline.

“To suggest we’re ignoring the FEC is ridiculous,” said Matt Turner, adding that this is just a smear campaign run by Weiner and the QCYD to escape a debate on real issues.

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