The Federal Election Commission (FEC) last week told legal counsel for the Camden County Democratic Committee (CCDC) that the FEC won’t investigate Steve Ayscue of Haddon Capital Ventures or others suspected of violating election laws related to Tea Party candidate Peter DeStefano in the 2010 3rd Congressional District race.
The FEC also dismissed allegations against the CCDC in the case of DeStefano’s third-party candidacy, causing the GOP to cry foul over the decision, pointing to the Democrats’ acknowledgement of working with DeStefano.
“On June 6, 2011, the commission found, on the basis of the information in the complaint, and information provided by your clients, that there is no reason to believe your clients, Bill Moen, Matt White and Haddon Capital Ventures LLC, violated 2 U.S.C. 441a(a),” wrote FEC assistant counsel Mark Allen in a June 9th letter. “In addition, the commission voted to dismiss the allegations that the (CCDC) violated 2 U.S.C. 433, 434(a) and (b), and 441a(a). Accordingly, the commission closed its file in this matter.”
Former GOP Party Chairman Jay Webber filed complaints with the FEC in October of last year following published reports that Democrats assisted Tea Party candidate DeStefano to drain votes from U.S. Rep. John Adler’s (D-3) Republican challenger, Jon Runyan.
Runyan ended up defeating Adler.
In its own defense, the CCDC said Webber’s complaint was insufficient because it relied on published reports that cite only anonymous sources.
“The CCDC response, however, does not specifically contradict the reports attached to the complaint,” according to the FEC decision. “CCDC disclosed no contributions to the DeStefano Committee, and the DeStefano Committee did not disclose the receipt of any contributions from CCDC, or from any of the individuals allegedly working to support or assist DeStefano in ballot efforts.”
Ayscue and his assistants, Moen and White, said their alleged work on behalf of DeStefano does not “constitute the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a political committee without charge for any purpose” because the benefits they conferred “were indisputedly done in exchange for compensation.”
Chris Russell, a spokesman for the Burlington GOP and campaign strategist for Runyan, issued a statement.
“As part of the FEC’s investigation, the CCDC political team essentially acknowledged their involvement in planting a fake tea party candidate in the race and trying to defraud voters in the 3rd Congressional District last year,” Russell said. “The fact that they apparently didn’t violate campaign finance laws in doing so, doesn’t make their actions any less unethical or their shady association with Mr. DeStefano any less troubling to people who value fair elections.”