One of two things is going on here: either Dave Reichert and his campaign staff are incompetent or they initiated a deliberate effort to mislead the public about their disastrous fundraising in recent months.”
— WA State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz
You know, or both. Three months after President Bush came to town for what we were told at the time was a half million dollar fundraiser, we still can’t make heads or tales of Rep. Dave Reichert’s numbers, and so the WA State Dems filed an FEC complaint today alleging serious violations of federal election laws.
Proceeds from the $1,000 a head fundraiser were supposed to be placed in a special joint account, and then divided between the Reichert campaign and the WA State Republican Party, but most of the money appears to have been deposited directly into Reichert’s campaign account, a serious violation of federal law. One experienced campaign treasurer tells me he’s never seen such a sloppy FEC report, a report that has made it impossible to figure out exactly how much Reichert raised. Which may of course have been the point.
First the campaign claimed Reichert raised $500,000, then $230,000, and ultimately $185,000. The report itself claims the joint fundraiser raised only $135,000, but it is now unclear how much of that represents Reichert’s share. After all expenses are accounted for it is possible that Reichert may have actually lost money on the event, but we’ll never know for sure until the report is properly revised.
This is all the more embarrassing for Republicans considering the astounding success of the national netroots fund drive we held to help Democratic opponent Darcy Burner offset Reichert’s expected presidential windfall, raising $126,000 from over 3,400 contributors… over a weekend in August. Burner ultimately beat Reichert in Q3 in both dollars raised, and cash on hand; it is clear now that we kicked the president’s ass. No wonder no other Republican incumbent has dared to bring the president into town since the debacle in Bellevue.