Thursday, May 24, 2007

Election Board to Rule on Legality of Matt Kelty's Campaign Contribution

There have been rumblings for quite some time wondering how Matt Kelty was able to put together the scratch to loan himself $148K for his Fort Wayne mayoral campaign. Many felt this was a loan and that the identity of the donor was being hidden by calling it a personal contribution.

Today, the story breaks open as the News Sentinel reports that the Kelty campaign will file an addendum to show where that money came from:
The Allen County Election Board will meet as soon as next week to decide whether Republican mayoral candidate Matt Kelty broke the law when he reported making a personal loan of $148,000 to his own campaign.

I'm not sure if he broke the law or not but it's quite clear to me that this type of campaign finance reporting is outside the spirit of the law. If you take a loan with the sole intention of using that money for your campaign then you should certainly report the source of that loan - even if the law doesn't require you to. That's simply the honest thing to do, but honesty and integrity have not been words used to describe the local Republican party as of late. We were all told that Kelty was different and that he would change the local party - that doesn't seem to be the case.

The problem goes even further. The source of the loan is none other than Fred Rost - the same guy that commissioned the Harrison Square poll that Kelty originally refused to name. He eventually claimed the poll as an in-kind contribution from Rost but only after significant political pressure. Because this is the second time he's attempted to hide a Rost contribution he can not claim this as some innocent mistake. For whatever reason, he has systematically tried to hide Rost's support. Now it might cost him the election...

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