“The House Republican brand is so bad right now that if it were a dog food, they’d take it off the shelf.”
— Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-VA), former NRCC chair
Things are going from bad to worse for House Republicans, now that Christopher J. Ward — the “gold standard” of Republican campaign finance experts, and the treasurer of 83 GOP fundraising committees — is now suspected of embezzling millions of dollars from his clients. “Several hundred thousand dollars” were apparently stolen directly from the NRCC over a period of years in a financial fraud that could have far reaching consequences.
Ward is now alleged to have falsified numerous FEC filings. The NRCC apparently had nearly a million dollars less cash on hand than reported to the FEC at the end of 2006, and $740,000 less cash on hand than reported just a few weeks ago. But Ward wasn’t the only beneficiary of his crimes:
Officials told The Post that the NRCC’s problems may be more extensive. Republican lawmakers and former committee staff members now allege that Ward fabricated audits and other financial documents for 2003 to 2006, some of which were turned over to a Wachovia Bank branch in McLean in October 2006, when the NRCC borrowed $8 million in last-minute money for congressional campaigns.
That’s right, NRCC money spent on behalf of Dave Reichert in the final weeks of the 2006 campaign was obtained fraudulently, using “fabricated audits and other financial documents.” Loans obtained based on “outside audits” that were never conducted, were used to buy TV ads that helped put Reichert over the top.
And Republicans accuse Democrats of being the party of waste, fraud and abuse…?
I’ve just started searching through the FEC reports and already found this NRCC expenditure from Oct. 13, 2006:
STRATEGIC MEDIA SERVICES
1023 31ST ST. NW
WASHINGTON, DC 20007
Purpose of Expenditure: Issue Ad Placement
Name of Federal Candidate supported or opposed by expenditure: DARCY BURNER FOR CONGRESS
Office Sought: House of Representatives
State is Washington in District 08
Date Expended = 10/13/2006
Person Completing Form: CHRISTOPHER J. WARD
Date Signed = 10/13/2006
Amount Expended = $424948.80
Notice the name on the form: “Christopher J. Ward”. So Ward falsifies audits and other documents to obtain an $8 million loan, and then turns around and spends nearly half a million dollars of it attacking Darcy Burner. And I’m guessing there’s another million or so more where that came from spent during the following weeks.