Campaign 2010

Oct 04, 2010

District by District: House Republicans are Reeling from Another Bad Week

House Republicans across the country faced tough news stories this week ranging from charges of sexual assault of a potential campaign volunteer, abuse of their role as a U.S. Attorney to expunge a friend of a drug conviction, another Republican earmark controversy, and breaking the law in the public disclosure of their personal finances.

Below is a sample of this week’s coverage of the Republicans’ flawed candidates and Members:

Tom Ganley (OH-13) – Tom Ganley sued for sexual assault

“A 39-year-old Cleveland woman sued auto dealer and Republican congressional candidate Tom Ganley on Thursday, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in his office last year. The married mother of four filed the civil suit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court after months of attorney negotiations and a five-hour mediation conference failed to reach a settlement. She seeks damages in excess of $25,000.” (Read the complaint against Ganley and the exhibits.) [The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/30/10]

Tom Ganley (OH-13) – Tom Ganley’s sexual assault victim also files an employment discrimination claim

“The Cleveland woman who last week filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Brecksville auto dealer Tom Ganley filed an amended complaint today which claims the GOP congressional candidate wouldn't give her a job because she refused his sexual advances. The amended complaint, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court, seeks compensatory damages in excess of $25,000 for sexual harassment, employment discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium.” [The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/04/10]

Tom Marino (PA-10) – Tom Marino manipulated Pennsylvania judges to protect his convicted friend

“Marino, while the district attorney of Lycoming County, attempted an end around on a county judge who refused to expunge a friend's drug conviction. He approached another judge and won the expungement, but the plan backfired when the second judge learned of the first judge's involvement in the case… Marino's involvement in the case served as a harbinger of his questionable involvement in the DeNaples matter, the former Assistant U.S. Attorney said.” [Citizens Voice, 10/3/10]

Tom Marino (PA-10) – Former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino resigned while under investigation by the DOJ

“Former U.S. Attorney Thomas Marino resigned during an internal U.S. Department of Justice investigation into a reference letter he wrote to help Louis DeNaples get a casino license. According to a person familiar with the matter, Marino was probed by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility for allegedly violating several department guidelines. Instead, Marino stepped down, and his resignation ended the probe. Such internal investigations are automatic. Marino, a Republican who took a $250,000-a-year job with DeNaples as an in-house attorney after leaving his government job, now is seeking the 10th District congressional seat held by Democrat Chris Carney. Marino left his job with DeNaples to run for Congress.” [The Morning Call, 10/01/10]

Representative Phil Gingrey (GA-11) – Representative Gingrey requested an earmark for his former Chief of Staff, while also paying him for campaign consulting fees

“On April 1, 2008, Rep. Phil Gingrey paid Mitchell Hunter, his former chief of staff, $6,000 for campaign consulting fees. That payment came one day after the Georgia Republican signed a letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting an [$100,000] earmark for the National Center for State Courts, which had recently hired Hunter as a lobbyist. The center got its earmark that year — $100,000 to help state courts implement federal rules — and paid Hunter $100,000 for lobbying services. Gingrey paid Hunter $28,650 for ‘campaign strategy’ and ‘fundraising consulting’ in 2008, according to Federal Election Commission records maintained by CQ MoneyLine. Gingrey has paid Hunter’s firm another $54,090 since then.” [Roll Call, 9/29/10]

Ilario Pantano (NC-07) – Illario Pantano embraced endorsement from an anti-Islam activist

“In a race that has largely been flying under the national radar, a former Marine who killed two unarmed Iraqi prisoners in 2004 and who has made the threat of Islam and the ‘ground zero mosque’ centerpieces of his campaign has a real shot at being elected to Congress… He told Salon in an interview Friday, for example, that he welcomes the endorsement of the far-right blogger and anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller.” [Salon.com, 9/27/10]

Tom Ganley (OH-13) – Tom Ganley exaggerated his role in FBI investigation

Despite telling the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial board that he took down the mob in Northeast Ohio, Politifact proved he exaggerated his claim. “None of the FBI agents or former federal prosecutors contacted by The Plain Dealer could provide the names of crime figures apart from Felice and Ilaqua who were convicted solely on the basis of Ganley’s evidence… [I]t’s overkill for Ganley to state that his work ‘took down the mob’ in Northeast Ohio. For this reason, PolitiFact rates his claim as Barely True.”  [Politifact, 9/28/10]

Stephen Fincher (TN-08) - Democratic candidate Roy Herron released his tax returns, while Stephen Fincher still refused to release his own

“Democratic 8th Congressional District candidate Roy Herron has given $232,032 to charitable and religious causes in the past four years, or 17 percent of his taxable income, his campaign said Tuesday. The disclosure was yet another effort to point out the lack of transparency in his opponent Stephen Fincher's financial disclosures, where the terms of a $250,000 bank loan to his campaign are a secret and the adequacy of his financial disclosures to the clerk of the House of Representatives remains in question.” [Memphis Commercial Appeal, 9/28/10]

Jaime Herrera (WA-03) – Jaime Herrera refused to release the schedule of her past campaign events

“The Daily News asked both candidates for the 3rd District Congressional seat this week to provide an account of where they've been campaigning since the August primary. The Herrera campaign refused, saying the information might be used against her by her Democratic opponent, Denny Heck… The Heck campaign, which supplied a list of about 30 events attended by Heck last month, said Herrera has all but disappeared from the campaign trail.” [Daily News, 10/1/10]

Steve Stivers (OH-15) – National veterans group endorsed Representative Kilroy over veteran Steve Stivers

A leading veterans’ group, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States PAC, endorsed Mary Jo Kilroy over veteran Steve Stivers. “In a letter to Kilroy, the group said it was backing her because of her ‘strong support for veterans, national security & defense, and military personnel issues.’” [The Columbus Dispatch, 9/29/10]

Jon Barela (NM-01) – Jon Barela often claimed, “Government spending isn’t the solution,” but his firm benefited from government film tax rebates

“Republican Jon Barela, vying to unseat Freshman Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich, has often said that government spending isn’t a solution to stimulating the economy and that if elected he’d end ‘wasteful government spending.’” Barela said it’s “risk-takers that lead to economic growth, not government incentives, yet his own company—Cerelink—has benefited significantly from taxpayer cash assistance, through New Mexico’s film tax rebate program and from high speed computing infrastructure owned by the public.” [New Mexico Independent, 9/29/10]

Jeff Perry (MA-10) – Jeff Perry caught lying on his bar application

“On his application to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, a public record obtained by the Times, Perry's recollection of what happened in the strip searches doesn't match the facts of the case in court and police records nor what he initially told the Times in May.” [Cape Cod Times, 10/01/10]

Representative Dan Lungren (CA-03) – Despite voting against the economic Recovery Act, Representative Lungren is more than happy to take credit Recovery Act funded projects

“Rep. Dan Lungren likened the federal stimulus plan to a ‘spending spree which will add to a growing mountain of debt,’ but he helped secure $30 million from the program for a local company whose leaders later contributed to his campaign.” [Sacramento Bee, 10/01/10]

Bob Dold (IL-10) – The Cook County Clerk’s Office investigated Bob Dold’s “primary residency”

The confusion over whether Bob Dold’s primary residence is in Chicago’s Roscoe Village, where he received tax breaks, or in Winnetka, where he votes, has led to an inquiry into Dold’s conduct by the Cook County Clerk’s office. “When things like this are brought to our attention, we take it very seriously and we forward it to States Attorney’s office for review,” said Orr spokeswoman Courtney Greve. Illinois law declares it a Class A Misdemeanor for “Any person who, with intent to defeat or evade the law in relation to the assessment of property, delivers or discloses to any assessor or deputy assessor a false or fraudulent list, return or schedule of his or her property not exempted by law from taxation.” [Chicago Sun Times, 9/28/10]

Kevin Yoder (KS-03) – Kevin Yoder has a record of fighting for lobbyists in the Kansas Legislature

“KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reports that Yoder was the top Kansas legislator in 2009 in terms of accepting food and gifts. He's also tops for the first seven months of this year. Lobbyist spending on Yoder has been on a steady climb, Mahoney reports. Moore contends that Yoder voted against laws to reduce lobbyists' influence in Topeka. Yoder did cast two votes in 2004 in favor of exempting lobbyists from reporting details about food, beverage and recreation they bestow on lawmakers.” [KMBC, 9/29/10]