Thursday, May 24, 2007

Matt Kelty Campaign Loans

Below is a link to a pdf file Fort Wayne Observed posted earlier today:


There are already a couple of posts concerning this topic already, please read them as well:

Fort Wayne Left

Fort Wayne Left

Fort Wayne News

I am an accountant I am not an attorney.

Our campaign finance laws are pathetic and are a barrier to a free political process. You should not have to consult with an attorney to determine if your campaign finance reports are correct; however, I have heard of several instances where just that has been done.

I can tell you this much for sure, from an accounting standpoint there is nothing wrong with what Matt Kelty did, it is done by corporations on a regular basis. For example, I have a number of clients who have loans of this nature and I always list them as personal loans on their Federal Tax Returns. This is 100% legal from an accounting standpoint. From a tax standpoint I do not care where the money came from, I care who has the liability to repay the loan! This is Accounting 101.

The only way anyone could possibly consider this illegal is if it is in fact illegal from a Campaign Finance Reporting standpoint. Jeff Pruitt has cited the portions of the Campaign Finance Manual that he feels are pertinent in the above posts I referenced.

(The below sentence was edited by Mike Sylvester at 6:08 PM.)
I do not think The Matt Kelty Campaign violated the actual law; however, they did possibly violate the spirit of the law. They should have erred on the side of caution and listed the loans as being from the three individuals and sevured by Matt.

I think that if I were the Treasurer for the Matt Kelty Campaign that I would have contacted the Allen County Election Board and requested they give me an opinion on how they should be reported in writing. My guess is that the Election Board would have "dodged" the question and referred me to Campaign Finance Law.

I think I would have listed the loans as being from the three individuals in questions rather then from Matt Kelty; however, I am not 100% sure how I would have handled it. Hindsight is 20/20.

Mike Sylvester


Jeff Pruitt said...

"I do not think that The Matt Kelty Campaign violated the law."

Could you elaborate on that? I'm certainly not a lawyer but after reading the state's campaign finance laws I don't see how he wasn't in violation.

Was it intentional? I don't know and clearly that's debatable but I would like to hear why you think he wasn't in violation...

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I have modified my original post slightly after reflecting on it for a couple of hours.

I still do not think The Matt Kelty Campaign violated the law. If Matt has signed promissary notes then the loans are his responsibility to pay back and are in effect loans from him. I think that is clear from both and accounting and legal perspective.

I do agree that his Campaign filing may have violated the spirit of the Campaign Finance Law and I do feel that he did the right thing by amending his filing.

If you read my entire original post I even said that I think I would have filed the report differently then his Campaign did; however, I am not sure. Hindsight it 20/20.

Mike Sylvester

Anonymous said...

If this guy can be elected to the US House, then Matt CAN BE elected to City of Fort Wayne.

Anonymous said...

And Matt can still run with a Felony in East Chicago...

Anonymous said...

Mike - Is it too late for the Libertarians to run someone this fall so we have someone we can believe in on the ballot for mayor?I'm an interested past-republican fed up with all of them - Bush, Chaney, Souder, Daniels, Peters and now Kelty (yes, I do make an exception for Luger)

ROACH said...


steve pepple said...

Just because its legal accounting in the private sector, doesn't mean it legal under campaign finance law. It's not legal, and it was dishonest.

Also dishonest was Kelty denial of knowing who published the Zogby poll. His key contributer, Fred Rost, funded and game Kelty the poll. This relationship, and the dishonesty over it, is more troubling than any creative accounting.

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