Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carnahan Ethics Complaint Dismissed

Win, Then Give In?
It's much easier to acknowledge your opponent's point after you've beaten them, than during the heat of the fight.
So it goes in life, sports and even politics.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Robin Carnahan has been cleared of an ethics complaint involving her husband's finances, according to the documents provided to The Notebook.
Back in June, Missouri Republican Party executive director Lloyd Smith charged that Carnahan failed to disclose a business owned by her husband, Juan Carlos Antolinez. The party filed state and federal complaints.
But in a letter dated September 14th, Senate Ethics Committee Chief Counsel John Sassaman writes that Smith's allegations set forth in the complaint "lack substantial merit and no further action is appropriate."
Smith said that Carnahan had not properly registered the Antolinez's business, Antolinez International Trade. But the Carnahan campaign maintained that the business was never formed, only considered.
Ethics complaints are commonly filed and often, just as swiftly dismissed. The usual goal is to make a broader point about a political opponent, not win an official complaint case.
Still, the Carnahan campaign filed new campaign disclosure forms just to cover its bases as the 2010 campaign season moves into full gear.
"To address any concerns the Missouri Ethics Commission might have, we have amended the relevant reports, which should close the matter," said Carnahan spokesman Tony Wyche.
And, predictably, the Missouri Republican Party declared victory.
"Robin Carnahan was forced to come clean and report Juan Carlos Antolinez’s company, which three months ago she claimed didn’t even exist," said Smith in a statement sent to The Notebook. "Her new filing raises more questions about her response to our initial complaint, the nature of the business, and why it was absent from her disclosure forms for so many years. You would expect better from the person whose job it is to maintain business records in the State of Missouri," Smith concluded.

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