The Mason Conservative is picking around the odd finances of the “Put Braddock First” (PBF) group, which is carrying a $12,500+ debt, apparently based in debt to Mission Control LLC, a mail company that labels itself “One of the Premier Democratic Mail Firms in the Country”.
VPAP shows PBF taking in $450 in in-kind contributions against $900 in-kind expenses. At the same time VPAPA shows PBF has contributed $8684.00 total to The Hoot, Sharon Bulova, and Chap Petersen. The Virginia SBE report reflects the debt to Mission Control.
This bizarre situation is almost perfectly summed up by TMC, who says:
The money out is going only to Oleszek and Bulova, but there is no breakdown of where the money comes from. We are two weeks out from the election, shouldn’t that have been disclosed yet? How can Janet Oleszek accept over $4,000 and Sharon Bulova over $2,000 [B-Note: and almost $2k to Chap!] and it not be disclosed to the public two weeks before an election?
I don’t understand this situation, either. As of the last campaign report Chap! had $295k on hand, while Bulova between two committees has $200k on hand. Why are they mucking around with small potatoes like this? I can only assume this is some way they can underwrite mailings for The Hoot, and I guess in theory and legality it all comes out in the wash.
This last second charge the job and pay later reminds me of the silliness that Judy Feder tried in 2006/2008 in Va-10…but I digress.
If Chap and Sharon B want to pay for a mailing, why launder the money? I don’t understand the need for this circuitous path, as all it does is raise questions.
What follows is all my speculation and based in nothing more than the erratic wanderings of my grey cells…
I think Chap is playing a dangerous game. Why engage in this practice when it is so clearly odd and so clearly liable to be misconstrued? More practically, why do it when the dollar amounts are so small?
By all accounts Chap! wants to run statewide in 2013. Why create a situation that can only work against him? This appears to be an arrangement that at the least is contrary to the spirit of the recording laws if not the letter.
I suspect this all gets back to the Braddock primary contest. Chap! backed The Hoot over the Bulova endorsed candidate. I think he did that to get in good with the Fairfax Liberal Democrats in preparation for the 2013 Democratic nomination fight. Having won that fight, he needs some way to paper over any differences with Sharon B, so he goes in on an arrangement that also gets some funds to The Hoot to allow her to more fully demonize her opponent without offering up a single original or positive thought of her own.
(note to self-I wonder how Chap! and Sharon B feel about The Hoot demonizing those who are elected to part-time positions and hold down full time jobs…you know, positions like Virginia state Senator or County Board Chairman).
This manuever just seems too clever by half, and something that will rebound against Chap! down the road.
Runing for statewide office is difficult enough…why do things that can make the road more difficult? As I said, I have to wonder what game Chap! is playing…whatever it is, it does not look smart.