Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blunt Targets Nixon's Campaign Spending

Governor Matt Blunt's political operation says Attorney General Jay Nixon has violated the law by trying to "shield his campaign expenses."

But Nixon's campaign for Governor says the real problem is a law that's unclear.

The issue at hand is the way Nixon has been reporting his campaign's credit card expenditures.

Blunt's political shop, Missourians for Matt Blunt, is now highlighting a copy of a complaint filed Wednesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission against Attorney General Jay Nixon and his campaign committee, Nixon for Governor. The MEC has chosen to protect the identity of the complainant, a private citizen, according to a release sent by John Hancock.

The complaint challenges Nixon reporting methods by using "lump-sum credit card billings."

"This violation has continued for more than two years, since the formation of the Nixon for Governor candidate committee.," Hancock writes in the release.

A copy of the complaint may be viewed here.

Nixon spokesman Oren Shur says the campaign will change the way it reports credit card expenditures going forward, but maintains that the rules "were unclear."

"The rules on this specific point were unclear, which is why the Ethics Commission had to issue an advisory opinion to clarify," Shur said. "We will itemize our credit card expenditures going forward and also amend our finance reports dating back to the beginning of the election cycle," he added.

"This is yet another attack from a Governor who is down in the polls and desperately looking for ways to distract Missourians from his failed record on the issues that matter most, like health care and education," Shur added.

Hancock says this is about the chief law enforcement officer of the state believing "he is above the law."

"His motto is 'It's only wrong if I get caught,'" Hancock said. "Money is the common thread in Nixon's pattern of chicanery: Filching a state car for politics, to the admitted tune of nearly $50,000. Hiding spending in lump bills. Mishandling of staff payments. Taking money from those he is supposed to be 'investigating.' Lesson One: Don't believe a thing Jay Nixon says. Lesson Two: Never leave Nixon alone with somebody else's money."

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