by Max Brantley
David Boling, a Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has raised questions about the accuracy and sufficiency of opponent Robbie Wills' campaign finance reporting. Boling, a former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, also says, if elected, he'd follow his former boss' lead and forego fund-raising in non-election years. I've sought a comment from the Wills campaign. UPDATE: The initial response is that Boling's release is "vague" and more information is needed to respond. Also, the Wills campaign passes out an announcement of a big endorsement session Wednesday featuring many local officials, such as the mayors of Conway and North Little Rock (I guess Pat Hays isn't junketing this week.)
UPDATE II: Wills camp says Boling is going after trivial honest mistakes while avoiding important stuff.
BOLING NEWS RELEASE
The David Boling for Congress campaign on Monday pointed out that there are serious inaccuracies in the Robbie Wills for Congress Federal Elections Commission (FEC) report filed on April 15, 2010. The Wills campaign did not disclose more than $2000 in fees to the Democratic fundraising website ActBlue, and it failed to memo contributions received from the site. Moreover, it did not memo or itemize its debt obligation to American Express. In addition, the campaign did not memo or itemize its corporate contributions. It also appears the Wills campaign received a contribution from a company that was dissolved in 2008.
"The role of money in politics has contributed to the lack of confidence many Arkansans have in the entire process," said Boling. "Whether it is sloppiness or worse in filing FEC forms by the Wills campaign, people are tired of candidates failing to live up to the ethical standards that govern our elections."
Boling also announced his pledge to follow Congressman Snyder's lead and not fundraise in non-election years should he be elected to Congress. Boling is the former chief of staff for Congressman Vic Snyder, who maintained the practice throughout his 14 year career in Congress of not fundraising until shortly before election.
Boling stated, "If other members of Congress would commit to this high ethical standard it would free them to serve their constituents more effectively and give citizens greater confidence in the political process." Other than Congressman Snyder, no U.S. senator or congressman follows this policy.
"I saw the positive results of this policy firsthand. While other chiefs of staff were busy fundraising for their bosses, I was able to focus my time on solving problems for the people of Central Arkansas. I want people to know that I will maintain these highest levels of ethical standards as their representative."
WILLS RESPONSE FROM KYLE GOTT
Only three months removed from Washington DC, David Boling wants to attack a clerical oversight instead of talking about the 100,000 Arkansans looking for work. David Boling's recent attack focuses on an amount totaling less than 1% of funds raised last quarter. The expenses are related to a fee automatically charged to online donations. There is no debt to the campaign on a credit card. A payment was made to a personal card for a reimbursement. An amendment is already in the works to reflect the expenses.
Campaigns sometimes make honest mistakes. Mr. Boling's campaign inadvertently approved and broadcast an ad that did not include the required disclosure. That's understandable. That's why we chose not to make it a public issue. What doesn't make sense is talking about small problems on our disclosure form instead of the big problems facing Arkansas. Our campaign would prefer to talk Arkansas solutions, not Washington politics.
Look, the last thing we need to be doing is attacking each other. There are 100,000 Arkansans looking for work right now. That should be the focus of anyone running for public office this year. That has been the priority of our campaign and will continue to be. No one in this race has done more for job creation, health care, and been as open and transparent as Speaker Robbie Wills. Robbie will continue to talk about a stronger economy and Arkansas jobs.