Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mel Martinez's $300,000 Problem

The Orlando Sentinel reports Senator Mel Martinez accepted over $300,000 in contributions from donors who were already the 2004 election cycle limit. The Federal Election Commission did an audit and found most these donations were improperly filed. What supporters were trying to do was stuff the Martinez campaign coffers. Martintiez is using his classic standby excuse of blaming the mistake on a staffer. This case being the bookkeepers.

Martinez's treasurer during the 2004 election, Charles Puckett, could not be reached for comment.

Nancy Watkins, his current treasurer, attributed many of the violations to a new staff that could not handle the volume of donations.

The audit also said Martinez did not properly disclose proceeds from fundraising efforts with other politicians and did not keep complete records on the identity of many contributors. Campaigns are required to disclose a contributor's occupation or employers. Martinez did not report these facts about 46 percent of the time, according to a FEC test sample.

This is a good time to mention that in 2004 he receieved $250,000 from a Jack Abramoff fundraiser.

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