A candidate can’t use state funds for a federal campaign, but that’s exactly what Coakley has done. The state GOP was the first to pick up on this, saying she had paid roughly $30,000 to people on her payroll who had the ostensible job of helping with her AG run in 2010. Only problem is, these people are also helping her now with her Senate campaign. Coakley has publicly called the allegation petty politics, but she also quietly moved $35,000 from her state campaign coffers to her federal ones. The Federal Election Committee has taken the complaint from the state GOP under review.
Before it finishes, the FEC should know that it’s not $35,000 at issue. It’s more like $130,000. Boston looked through Coakley’s state campaign expenditures going back to the fall of 2008, and found that from that time to this August—just after Ted Kennedy died and just before Coakley announced her Senate run—her state payroll included DC political consulting firms, DC-based website design firms, and political strategists known for their work on federal campaigns. The expenditures totaled roughly $130,000.
Coakley says these people worked toward only one initial goal: getting her reelected attorney general in 2010. But she never faced a Democratic opponent for AG. She was a popular incumbent. Why then was she spending, beginning in late 2008 (two full years before the election), all this money for a race she knew she had in the bag?
More of the same.
Now if only AP would put as many people on the task of investigating Coakley’s campaign finance activities as it did vetting Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue, we might get the truth in time for the January 19 special election.