Monday, December 05, 2005

KY Budget Chairman Finance Scheme Uncovered

Rep. Harry Moberly (D-Richmond), Kentucky's House Budget Chairman, spent money he didn't have last year to keep his office in Frankfort. One full year after the election, he still owes more than $20,000 to a company owned by a Kentucky Democratic Party executive.

One interesting thing about this is that you can pull up "Harry Moberly" on the Ky. Registry of Election Finance website and find an erroneous positive balance $2437.29. This doesn't take into account, though, his carrover debt from last year. To find the truth you have to dig down to the PDF file which shows Moberly's one year old campaign debt of $21,698.45 still owed to Emmons & Company Inc.

Looking at this brings up a few questions: why is Harry Moberly in a position of responsibility over the state budget when he can't even balance his own campaign fund? If corporate campaign contributions are illegal, why is Moberly allowed to carry indefinitely a debt owed to a corporation? At some point doesn't that amount to the same thing? And why does the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance continue to show Moberly's balance nearly $25,000 higher than it actually is?

This budgeting scheme allowed Harry Moberly to spend much more money than he had to get elected. (Good enough for government work, I suppose.) As the Kentucky vote buying scandal works its way slowly to the courtroom, we see some Democrats have moved past bag men, vote haulers, booze and McDonald's coupons. The new trick is to get a corporate sponsor to spend huge chunks of money on a candidate, who can then show it as a carryover debt in perpetuity.