I think we can expect these kind of tactics in NJ too.
Dems cry foul over GOP fundraiser invitation
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency violated federal campaign laws by allowing his name and title to appear on an invitation to a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Rick O’Donnell, the chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party alleged Friday.
Party leader Pat Waak filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, asking for an investigation into any laws that may have been broken in relation to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson’s appearance Thursday at a $300-a-plate fundraising lunch for O’Donnell in Denver.
“By exploiting Mr. Johnson’s role as EPA administrator, Mr. Johnson and the O’Donnell campaign have jeopardized what should be a distinct separation between public policy and partisan politicking,” Waak wrote.
O’Donnell is the lone Republican candidate running for the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by Bob Beauprez. O’Donnell officially resigned Friday from his job as director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education to campaign full-time.Officials from the O’Donnell campaign and the EPA have denied any wrongdoing in regard to Johnson’s visit.
The federal Hatch Act allows presidential appointees to stump on their own time for their favorite candidates, but it prohibits them from listing their titles on the invitations.
The subject line of an invitation e-mailed last week on behalf of former state health department Director Doug Benevento invited potential donors to a “Fundraiser with Administrator of EPA Stephen L. Johnson for Rick O’Donnell.”
The attached invitation was titled, “Fundraiser with Administrator of EPA.”
Benevento hosted the lunch at his Denver law firm, Greenberg Traurig, where he has practiced law since resigning from his state job Dec. 30.
He said Friday that the e-mail originated from his office, and that he was accountable for it. He said the e-mail did not violate the Hatch Act, since a government official didn’t send it.
“The fact of the matter is, a private citizen took it upon himself to change the subject line and sent an e-mail that was not approved by our campaign or the EPA,” O’Donnell campaign manager KC Jones said.
“Doug Benevento has apologized profusely and has said, ‘I did this. I did not know it was wrong. I’m sorry,’ ” she said.
Democrats said that Benevento was just taking the fall for the Republican Party.
“It’s the same culture of corruption stuff,” said Kate Bedingfield, regional spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“It’s tweaking the law here and bending the law there for personal gain.”