An attorney representing Christine O’Donnell, the outspoken “tea party”-backed Republican Senate candidate from Delaware who has been accused by a government watchdog group of embezzling campaign funds, has called the complaints a “political ploy” by a “headline grabbing left-wing organization.”
The nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Monday filed complaints with the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware and the Federal Election Commission accusing her of using $20,000 of campaign funds to pay for personal expenses and then lying about her expenditures on forms she filed with the FEC. Federal law prohibits federal candidates from using campaign funds for personal use.
Ms. O’Donnell’s campaign on Monday didn’t return several email and telephone messages from the Washington Times asking for a comment. The Times’ finally received the following response Tuesday night from O’Donnell attorney Cleta Mitchell:
“This is obviously a political ploy by the George Soros-funded, left-wing CREW, which has devoted itself to attacking Republicans. Interesting that they have scurried around to gain headlines by attacking Christine now — they must be worried about Christine’s momentum.
“Since we have not been served with any of these papers — they were sent to the media rather than to us, which is so typical of CREW. They are a media/headline grabbing left-wing organization.
“But we will go to their website and read what they’ve handed out to the press — and we will review the allegations and be prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to clear Christine’s name from these ridiculous charges.”
CREW has targeted congressional lawmakers from both major political parties in recent years, including Democrats Rep. Gregory W. Meeks of New York and Sen. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.
Ms. O’Donnell, 41, is one of 14 congressional candidates on CREW’s “Crooked Candidates 2010” list, which has nine Republicans, three Democrats and two independents.