Thursday, May 24, 2007

Matt Kelty Campaign Loans, second thoughts

I did not have a lot of time to research this earlier today as I was working. This evening we went to a music program that my son Graydon was involved in.

After I got home I decided to read through the Campaign Finance Laws.

I am still 100% positive that what The Kelty Campaign did was legal per accounting rules. There is no doubt in my mind about that; it is fairly common among corporations. I have discussed this with a couple of other CPA's and we are all in agreement that it is 100% legal from an accounting perspective.

I am becoming more skeptical about it from a Campaign Finance perspective. I do not like our campaign finance laws at all. They are a joke; however, after giving it some more thought I am pretty sure now that I would have reported those loans as coming from three other individuals rather then from Matt Kelty. From a Campaign Finance perspective I think that is the right thing to do.

One of the supposed goals of Campaign Finance laws is to make it clear where the money that flows into a campaign comes from.

I now think that the Kelty Campaign did make a mistake. I think that our Campaign Finance Laws should be written so that an average person can run for office and be able to comply with the rules. It sickens me that campaigns often have to consult with attorney's about these matters...

I think the next meeting of the Allen County Election Board will be very interesting. I think that Allen County has a very strong Election Board and I think that they will be capable of sorting through this and coming up with the correct decision.

While I currently think that The Kelty Campaign did most likely make a mistake in their filings; I do not think that the mistake could ever be construed as a felony. In fact, anyone who thinks that it is a felony would have to PROVE that the mistake was made on purpose.

I think that The Kelty Campaign did the right thing by amending their reports.

Mike Sylvester

24 comments:

Kelty for mayor? NO WAY! said...

"I think that The Kelty Campaign did the right thing by amending their reports"

Let's keep in mind, he only amended the reports after he was called out on them. Something to ponder.........

Scott Greider said...

I'm with you, Mike, in despising campaign finance laws. Nothing worse in terms of first amendment infringements. If I were inclined to vote for Kelty, this wouldn't dissuade me one iota.

Anonymous said...

Scott, what an amazing comment. Does honesty mean nothing?

Anonymous said...

How is Kelty's flaw....different from Richard's hiding the facts regarding the stadium? Mike I would be interested in your input!

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

Okay - wait a minute. Scott, "nothing worse in terms of First Amendment freedoms? Of course there is - what about those individuals who do not have the power of the almighty dollar? Aren't my rights to free speech just as great as those who have tens of thousands of dollars with which to purchase an advantage?

The First Amendment freedoms are not absolutes even though the Amendment begins with "Congress shall make no law.... abridging the freedom of speech." Many areas of "speech" are regulated - obscenity, commercial speech, seditious speech, hate speech, fighting words - to name a few.

These kinds of speech are regulated because they do not fall under complete protection of the First Amendment. Money is not political speech - it only buys political speech. Restricting contributions doesn't restrict freedom of speech - it attempts to level the playing field.

Jeff Pruitt said...

I'm not sure it was a mistake. I would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt if this weren't the 2nd time he's been found to be unwilling to report contributions from Rost - the Harrison Square poll being the other.

I have no idea, in either case, why he chose to do what he did but I think these two incidents taken together show a pattern of behavior...

Parson said...

If it was a "honest mistake" I would hate to see what other honest mistakes he will make as mayor.

Anonymous said...

do not believe Election Board even questioned this. Believe it was Steve and the gang, even tho he claims not to have known about this....been on his case since he won ... think the ole; gangs big egos got tromped on ....think they have an agenda ....and what he saying about them all supporting Kelty is a lie.......Maybe Karen Richards can cover this up like she does her husband not paying is ex child support

Anonymous said...

If you dont think the Election Board is serious about this, check out the letter (at the News Sentinel online) outlining what documentation the Board has requested from Kelty. This is an extremely serious matter. You Kelty believers have your head in the sand if you think this is just some minor nuisance.

Anonymous said...

what I am saying was until Matt filed his addendum they had not asked any questions regarding the loan.... Steve and his groupies had alot to do with this even though they will not admit to this. They don't want him as their candidate.. but they can't appoint Nelson either.... there is s "sore losers provision" in election law
think the EGOTISIST REPUBLICANS may have just handed election to democrats

Anonymous said...

There will be a loan document produced that states that if Matt drops out of the race, he defaults on the loan. I think that answers the questions about it being a "personal loan".

Stay tuned

Robert Enders said...

Either he made a mistake and corrected it, or he did it on purpose and tried to cover his tracks. I do not know which it is at this point. I have noticed people have a tendency to assume that a candidate who they agree with on issues is innocent, and to assume that a candidate that they disagree with on issues is guilty.

Scott Greider said...

@Anonymous: Honesty does matter, but I don't think Kelty's been dishonest. Cautious and perhaps in the end mistaken as to the requirements of silly laws, but not dishonest.

@Charlotte: We'll have to disagree on the interpretation of the First Amendment. I don't think any of those examples you cited should be abridged or otherwise prohibited. Just because you say they don't fall under the 1st doesn't make it true. And even if they don't currently, they should. And lastly, my understanding of the purpose of the Constitution is not to "level the playing field".

Question for you: would you favor limiting what an individual make spend on her own campaign?

@Robert: Libertarians, I find, tend not to react this way. I, for one, disagree with Kelty on the issues, but I don't fault him here.

Anonymous said...

Scott, go back and review Kelty's quotes for the last 4 months regarding this loan and then re-visit your honest conclusion.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Anonymous:

Once again there is NOTHING illegal about what Matt did from an accounting standpoint, NOTHING.

I can see where someone could argue that the loans were reported from a Campaign Finance standpoint; however, that is a matter of interpretation.

Charlotte:

Your not saying that are current Campaign Finance laws are effective are you?

Mike Sylvester

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Why are accounting rules relevant?This is a matter of campaign finance laws, period.

Whether or not, Matt got his debits and credits right is simply not relevant at all.

Sam

Paul Spoelhof said...

Mike,
Campaign finance laws may be complicated in writing, but they are pretty straight forward in spirit. The spirit is transparency. Most of the complexity is a function of repeated and increasingly creative loop-hole exploitation. This is one of those areas where the "gut-check" is vital. If you need a bunch of lawers to advise you on the legality of your campaign financing scheme, maybe you ought to reconsider the strategy.

Mark W. Rutherford said...

Campaign finance laws have little in common with accounting principles, in my opinion. It's two totally different worlds with little overlap.

My experience with them is that they are an effective weapon to be used against others, especially those already in power fending off their opposition, but have little effect for their proponents stated goals of "getting rid of corruption" (whatever that is).

In fact, they discourage people from participating in the process. The public disclosure of contributers insures that you're targeted for at least indirect retribution from the winning candidate.

Those who disagree that such retribution happens are choosing to look at the world through rose colored glasses.

Also, those who choose to believe there isn't at least indirect retribution, yet say campaign finance laws are needed for clean elections, are being inconsistent. You can't trust the candidates for abusing power and place while they are running for office, yet you can magically trust them when they become the office holder?

Horses rarely change their colors. Candidates who are abusive while candidates are probably going to be abusive while office holders.

Marvin Hoot said...

Well said Mark. Campaign finance disclosure may somewhat hinder a person's ability to "buy" an election but it is indeed a weapon used behind the scenes against fellow businessmen and politicians to keep them "in line". In other words they are used by a powerful group of people to "buy" an election by keeping their opponent from having adequate funds or connections.

In the case of the Matt Kelty campaign, Fred Rost (president of the Allen County Right to Life organization - ACRL) is a private individual and, until now - to the best of my knowledge, has not been part of the political scene. Because of his involvement with the campaign he recused himself from any ACRL voting associated with the Mayoral campaign. He is an individual whom I admire and respect.

Much has been said about Matt's religious faith. He prays before meetings whether with the group or prior to the meetings. He prays for God's blessings for all involved in the process, friend or foe. He prays for the city. He is a man of great compassion and empathy. I am blessed to call him my friend.

It has been said that Matt Kelty won against nearly the whole team of elected local GOP officials. If some of those officials indeed feel that way then it would make sense that they are hurting right now. Matt Kelty is not vindictive. He has had opportunity to be such a person during the primary election and he has refrained from doing so and has asked his staff also to refrain, though that was not necessary. Kelty has and will continue to invite all the elected officials to join with him to make a difference in Fort Wayne. That is just the type of guy he is. They are not an enemy. They are people who have feelings and thoughts that are worth consideration. I'm certain he has prayed for them all but Matt Kelty is his own man. Though he will consider others opinions and thoughts he will make decisions based on what he considers to be the best course of action, not because of what others want him to decide.

If you really want to judge a political candidate then look at the people the candidate appoints and whose opinions s/he respects. If you would not want to associate with those people then don't vote for the candidate.

Become informed then decide. The choice is yours to make. If you believe he is too "goody-goody" because of his faith then don't vote for him. If you believe, as do I, that he is a man of great compassion and courage irregardless of his faith, then join the throng that follows him.

God Bless,
Marvin

(MarvinHoot@verizon.net)

ROACH said...

KELTY-GATE!

Anonymous said...

Marvin,

some good points. Should we judge Matt by the people intimately involved in his campaign? Like Angry White Boy?

Marvin Hoot said...

I've met Dan once (at the Kelty post-election party) and I have talked with him by phone once. I don't recall any specific advice he gave the campaign.

Mr. Kelty has many admirers who come from many walks of life and many backgrounds.

The AWB blog, as well as a few others, is amusing and I do enjoy reading some of the comments. I think the blogs are a great medium for people to be able to freely speak their minds.

As for judging people by those "intimately involved" with them, should we condemn Jesus? He walked with and talked with sinners. Does that make him a sinner? He didn't cave in to the church leadership but instead chose to serve the people. Did that make him unworthy to lead? I make this analogy not to compare Mr. Kelty to Jesus but to point out that Jesus, though he was good, was crucified because he didn't fit the mold that the leaders demanded.

Thanks for the interesting question.

God Bless,
Marvin

Anonymous said...

Marvin, even with your caveats, dangerously close to comparing Matt Kelty with Jesus. Wow.

Although I think Jesus would have reported the loan.

stopkelty.com said...

All he wants is his religion to be part of his campaign. He has no reason to be in any office. He is not qualified!! He was hiding the money donated to him because it was backed by a religious organization. Just point out the facts. He is backed by other Christian organizations as well. If he is going to mislead his campaign what do you think he will do when he gets into office? Oh no He's GOT TO GO. He is a religious nut case that has to be stopped. Look at the facts!!
StopKelty.com