It was a pathetic display all around. The two Republican board members (Therese Brown and David Wright) asked ONE question between the two of them and Bopp didn't directly answer a SINGLE QUESTION from Andy Downs' (D) list.
Now we find out that special prosecutor Dan Sigler feels the same way I do:
In his response to a motion to dismiss Kelty’s charges, Sigler, a Democrat, wrote that the Republicans asked only one question before the board voted to find no violation.
Sigler wrote that the board disregarded its power to question witnesses under oath and its power of subpoena.
“The board ignored its investigative powers and had an absolute minimum invested in examining the defendant (Kelty’s) violations,” he wrote.
By contrast, Sigler said the grand jury met for more than a week and interviewed 15 witnesses and examined thousands of pages of bank records, e-mail and other documents.
The Election Board should certainly be embarrassed by their handling of the Kelty complaint. Andy Downs was the only member of the board that took that hearing seriously and actually tried to get answers out of the Kelty campaign. While his approach was ineffective, it should be noted that he was completely stonewalled by Jim Bopp with the help of the other two board members.
Andy Downs, Democratic member of the board, said all of Sigler’s assertions were accurate, noting he thought he asked several good questions that weren’t answered by Kelty or his attorney, Jim Bopp.
“We didn’t push the issue very far,” Downs said.
Instead of owning up for abdicating his duties as Board Member David Wright continues to make excuses and they're simply unconvincing:
David Wright, Republican member of the board, said he still doesn’t believe Kelty broke campaign finance law and felt the board did everything it was supposed to do.
“What does he (Sigler) expect us to do?” he said. “It’s not a grand jury. We don’t go out and investigate.”
Well that's true I suppose - this board certainly didn't go out and investigate. But I have news for Wright, something he should obviously know as a member of the Election Board, he can investigate. In fact it's spelled out right there for him in the Indiana Code:
Sec. 13. The election division and each county election board shall make audits and field investigations from time to time with respect to reports and statements filed under this article and with respect to an alleged failure to file a report or statement required under this article. The election division may request the state board of accounts to assist in the performance of audits the election division considers necessary, and the state board of accounts may perform the audits that are requested.
It's time for some changes...