Where’s the Ca$h?

A new video that I hope summarizes (very briefly) the importance of Joe Lieberman giving away $387,000 in cold hard cash during the week leading up to the primary.

Matt Browner-Hamlin has more (emphasis added):

I think part of the problem with the petty cash story is that we may well actually have all the answers that exist. There was $387,000 of non-itemized, non-recorded expenditures from the Lieberman petty cash accounts. If there’s not documentation (violating two parts of the relevant law), then the Lieberman campaign will never be able to produce the records needed to say where the money went. In that case the allegations are non-falsifiable. But that’s not a knock on the story or the potential for reporting – that is the story.

It would be great if it was possible to turn up people who took $150 in cash in the days before the primary to work for Joe – clearly they’re out there. Likewise getting some of the field consultants to go on the record on how they disbursed petty cash would provide a lot of answers. But I don’t think the story hinges on these sources, as they would really only provide details on one out of three of the Lamont campaign’s alleged violations.

If there’s going to be any movement on Lieberman petty cash scandal, I believe it will have to come from the business end of an FEC Matter Under Review notification sent to Lieberman’s campaign (respondent) and Tom Swan, complainant in this matter. It seems evident that the Lieberman campaign broke the law in two distinct ways that we already now about (leaving aside a possible third), we just need FEC confirmation to keep the story alive.

The FEC is required to let the Lamont campaign know if their complaint meets the required criteria for an investigation by their general counsel within five days of it’s submission. The complaint was submitted on October 23rd, so the FEC is required to let Tom Swan know if the case will move forward by October 28th.

The 28th is tomorrow, a Saturday. We’ll either hear today, tomorrow (unlikely), or I predict it will be pushed back until Monday under some technical stipulation that if the notification date falls on a Saturday then–blah blah blah–next business day.

1 Response to “Where’s the Ca$h?”

  1. Matt Browner-Hamlin

    Yeah I don’t know if they’ll notify on a saturday, though the postal service is working then, so…

    My info on the FEC procedure comes from their guidelines on their website, not statute or bylaws, so I don’t know if there’s an exception for what happens if the fifth day falls on a saturday. That said, it does not say “five business days” on the website. Here’s what it says is/should be going on now:

    II. Complaint: Early Stages
    Receipt of Complaint

    The Office of General Counsel (OGC) reviews each complaint to determine whether it satisfies the above criteria of a proper complaint. If the complaint does not meet the requirements, OGC notifies the complainant of the deficiencies within 5 days of receipt.

    Once a complaint is deemed sufficient, OGC assigns it a MUR (Matter Under Review) number, acknowledges receipt of the complaint and informs the complainant that the Commission will notify him or her when the entire case is resolved. Until then, the Commission is required by law to keep its actions regarding the MUR confidential.
    Notice to Respondent

    Within 5 days after receiving a proper complaint, OGC sends each respondent a copy of the complaint and a description of the Commission’s compliance procedures. The respondent has 15 days to respond in writing, explaining why no action should be taken.

    In the case of a complaint that does not satisfy the requirements (see above), the respondent nevertheless receives a copy of the complaint and a letter explaining that the matter will remain confidential for 15 days to give the complainant an opportunity to correct the complaint.

    If the complainant corrects and refiles the complaint, the respondent is sent a copy of the corrected complaint and is given 15 days to submit a response to the Commission.
    Respondent’s Counsel

    A respondent who wants to be represented by legal counsel must inform the Commission by sending a “statement of designation of counsel.” This document, signed by the respondent, must include a statement authorizing the counsel to receive all communications from the Commission on behalf of the respondent and include the counsel’s name, address and telephone number.

    Once the Commission receives the “statement of designation of counsel,” the agency will communicate only with the counsel unless otherwise authorized by the respondent.

    Makes me think Swan is owed a response by tomorrow.