Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Harry Moberly's Campaign Finance Scam

If you want a potentially explosive newspaper story to not get much attention, you give it a headline like "Moberly Will Restrict Donations."

The Louisville Courier Journal reports today that the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS) sent out a fundraising letter for Rep. Harry Moberly (D-Richmond) dated April 29, 2005 telling members "our future efforts in Frankfort (especially on principal selection) will be much improved if we can take 176 checks to Harry from superintendents in the amount of $100 each."

Bad enough, but read on...

The letter said Moberly "had a very expensive election and has a debt that needs to be liquidated."

That's where the red flags went up. Moberly claimed in the article that he had less than $30,000 in campaign debt. His Registry of Election Finance Statement, however, shows a campaign surplus of $1971.58.

So we called the Registry of Election Finance. It turns out that Moberly has turned over to them a bill for $99,698.45 from Emmons And Company Inc. for "management and payment of campaign activities" that isn't reflected in the online filing. Further, payments of $65,000 and $5000 have been reported as paid. That leaves an unpaid balance of $29,698.45.

Moberly reports campaign disbursements of $148,265.94. His opponent spent just $41,224.06 and got 44% of the vote in the heavily gerrymandered 81st district. No doubt Moberly needed every bit of what amounts to a $30,000 campaign contribution from Dale Emmons' company to pull off the win.

With any luck, though, Moberly's next effort to get lobbyists to pay his 2004 campaign expenses won't receive even this much attention.