Cynthia McKinney, is back in the news. As to be expected, the story is controversial with potential to stir up a media shitstorm.
Following an alleged assault on a Capitol Police officer, empty threats to sue The Atlanta Journal Constitution, hollow and unproven claims of election fraud following her primary defeat, and an ill-conceived and ill-timed authorship of Articles of Impeachment against Chimpy during her last week in office, a potential fundraising scandal could be brewing.
According to a story released late last week by the AP, McKinney is soliciting funds to retire campaign debt despite a year-end FEC report that indicates the campaign finished with a surplus.
More on the flip...
According to the AP story (the full text can be found here):
Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is asking for help in retiring nearly $60,000 in debt from her losing re-election campaign last year.
But her plea doesn't square with the end-of-year finance report she submitted to the Federal Election Commission, which showed her campaign having almost $25,000 left over.
While some may argue that it takes time to accurately and fully account for campaign revenue and disburements, the AP story makes note that:
Campaign finance experts say it's possible McKinney could have late-arriving bills that didn't show up before the report was filed. But because McKinney lost in a primary runoff in August, that would be an unusually long lag.
Is McKinney "crying wolf" about campaign debt to fraudulently raise funds for other purposes, or is the discrepancy the result of incompetence or sloppy accounting?
"Disorganization" in the campaign could possibly be a factor, as the article notes:
"If you have $60,000 in the bank and $35,000 in debt, you should be able to pay off those debts if you've done your accounting right," said Massie Ritsch, spokesman at the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics. "This is not a campaign that was known for organization, so if there's disorganization now in the books, that wouldn't surprise me."
A look at McKinney's fundraising appeal (link is here), however, indicates she may well be preparing for future political endeavors:
Cynthia has worked for our communities for years. She's spoken out with courage, asked the difficult questions, raised the unpopular issues, challenged the criminal acts of the Bush administration and so much more. She served six terms in the Congress, survived reapportionments and came back from a defeat engineered with a malicious cross over vote in Georgia's open primaries.
She now faces nearly $ 60,000 in campaign debt. If Cynthia is to continue to serve our nation and the people of Georgia, she now needs our help retiring this debt. Please give generously. Make a purchase at our new campaign store, use the links to the right to contribute now online. No contribution is too small. Within the bounds of Federal Campaign Finance law, no contribution is too large. Please give generously. Together we can help prepare our Congresswoman for her next step in service to our nation's people
Well, first of all, she's not "our Congresswoman" anymore, but what is "her next step in service"?
Is McKinney so delusional that she may actually believe she should run in a rematch with GA-04 Rep. Hank Johnson in 2008? Johnson's landslide victory, and early indications that he's earning his progressive stripes in Congress, make the thought of a rematch laughable.
If the campaign debt appeal is genuine, and the financial discrepancy story is simply a result of lagging disclosure, perhaps she is planning a retirement from politics.
However, the "next step in service" phrase is troubling and certainly doesn't sound like a political retirement plan. If McKinney is using a misleading campaign debt ploy to fund future political ambitions, her actions will underscore the perception by many that she's a fraud and a shyster.
Cynthia, please, just go away.
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