Friday, November 03, 2006

More Reynolds' questions

Now that the DA's office has officially opined that State Sen. Tom Reynolds used campaign funds to pay utilities on his campaign headquarters on a rental property rather than at his home as Reynolds' own campaign filings gives gives reasonable basis to conclude, let's move on to remaining questions about the Reynolds' campaign finance reports:
  • Why didn't Reynolds declare the value of the use of the rental property HQ as an in-kind donation? The full-time use of a building with heat, gas, and printers or printing presses seems to be of substantial value, and state law requires that candidates declare those kind of donations.

  • How did Reynolds value his own in-kind donations for printing labor? State law requires that contributions be declared the day they are received. Reynolds declared a $16,883 in-kind contribution on Oct. 23, the last day of the most recent reporting period. Let's assume that, despite the law, Reynolds is declaring his in-kind contribution for the entire period and not for a single day. There were just 56 days during the reporting period, including weekends. If Reynolds' worked on his own stuff eight hours a day, every day, including weekends, he would be billing his campaign $37.69 per hour, or -- on a full-time basis -- more than $78,000 a year. (He has separate entries for utilities, paper, ink, and payments to the postmaster and a mailing service.)

  • Just who is Kelly Reynolds and why did Tom Reynolds pay her $364 on Sept. 5? Kelly Reynolds' address is listed on Reynolds' campaign report as his home at 9430 W. Schlinger Ave. (but remember, just because Reynolds says something is at his home address does not mean that it is, in fact, at his home address) Reynolds doesn't say why he paid her, though the law requires "an itemized statement of every disbursement exceeding $20 in amount or value. together with the name of the person or business to whom the disbursement was made, and the date and the specific purpose for which the disbursement was made."
  • Why doesn't Reynolds list individual contributions made by book donors and dealers for the book sale fundraiser he held? Reynolds valued the books, which he listed as "Books accepted on consignment and some donated books for sale" at $2,809. Interestingly, he listed the name of the donor as "Used Book Sale," which seems a tad incomplete to me. His finance report also includes expenditures of $521.25 and $701.04 to two individuals -- Brian Nowack and Craig Temple, respectively -- for "payment for books taken on consignment."
Curious minds want to know. We've asked Thomas Frenn, Reynolds' compositionally-challenged attorney, for answers to some of these questions. We're waiting to hear back.

2 comments:

PatrickR said...

I'm normally very tolerant of each individual's political beliefs, but I've hit the breaking point with businesses in my area supporting Tom Reynolds--Wisconsin's worst legislator. Even if you're a conservative business owner, how in the world can you support a buffoon like Reynolds? This past weekend my car was beeping at me because I'd forgotten I was riding on empty. The only gas station in front of me had one of those Reynolds-on-Steroids sized campaign sings in front. I risked running out of gas to drive a half mile past that station to find gas elsewhere. I've also stopped frequenting (permanently) two restaurants within walking distance that have Reynolds signs in front. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how anyone with a sound mind can support Tom Reynolds. I've met him...he's even more disappointing and clueless in person than one would think.

I'm dragging my wife and mother (who usually only vote in Presidential elections - shame on them) to the polls on Tuesday specifically because I know they consider Reynolds a joke as well.

Everyone who knows what a disgrace Tom Reynolds is...ask a 5th District friend, neighbor or relative who rarely votes to make a special effort this time to get to the polls and vote for Sullivan.

tomkraj said...

Gretchen,

IMHO You have raised very valid questions re: Reynolds campaign finance reporting. I get a picture of a sloppy and lackadasical report The required reports often appropriately provide us with a view of the candidate.

In 30 years of working on campaigns off and on I am not aware of any requirement for the candidate to report an inkind contribution of his or her labor. Why did he report it. What is the purpose of this reported donation?