Republican Paul Ogden asks some interesting questions about Lincoln Plowman in a recent blog post.
Specifically, why would the Marion County GOP donate $2400 to Plowman in February of 2009? That's two years before his next election, and the guy is in a staggeringly Republican district. Oh, wait! Did anybody else notice and think it was fishy that the exact same day that check came in, Plowman wrote a check to himself for $1930 for money he had loaned the committee? Why did he need that money so urgently?
After reviewing Plowman's last report, I have questions of my own.
Is the cool thing now in the GOP operating above your means and then loaning yourself money so it looks like you raise more than you do?
Plowman repeatedly loaned himself money, including a $3,082 on March 5, 2009, the exact day his campaign bought a PC from Fry Electronics for that exact amount. Why? Because his campaign only had $1300 at the time. He makes the purchase, records the loan, and presto, because campaign finance laws require all incoming "dollars" to be recorded as "contributions," he's just added "$3,082" to his year-to-date fundraising total. (This is why cash-on-hand if the only intrinsically valuable piece of information on a CFA-4. Plowman raised $14,000, a very healthy sum for a councillor, but he only had $500 in the bank at year's end).
Also, last time I checked, campaign finance law say you can spend contributions only on things reasonably related to campaign activities. Raise your hand if you believe that Plowman actually spent $4041...yes, that's four THOUSAND....on the purchase of a new campaign phone and only campaign cell phone bills. (iPOPA looks across entire county, sees no hands).
Just like Carl Brizzi, Plowman also has numerous "meetings" that look an awful lot like a guy eating out on his donors' dime. This practice troubles me because the only difference between campaign donations and something that resembles implied bribery is the law prohibiting candidates from benefitting personally from contributions.
Also, if Plowman resigns and is done with politics, what will happen to his new iPhone? What will happen to his new laptop? Will he keep them? Or will he donate them to another committee or sell them and transfer the proceeds to another committee? Only the latter practices are legal, and I assure you, I'll be watching.
And it won't just be Plowman from here out. Fair warning to both R's and my fellow D's alike....if you use your campaign committee like a personal bank account, you should probably reform your ways, or you might get your feelings hurt.