Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dems Slam Walden on Missing Million

The Democratic Party of Oregon has put out a brutal video slamming our own Congressman Greg Walden for letting a million dollars in Republican campaign

Posted By on Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 11:24 AM

The Democratic Party of Oregon has put out a brutal video slamming our own Congressman Greg Walden for letting a million dollars in Republican campaign funds disappear on his watch.

The FBI has been investigating how the million bucks vanished from the coffers of the House Republican campaign fund. Allegedly the treasurer of the fund, Chris Ward, submitted fake audits to the committee overseeing it - a committee chaired by Walden.

Walden and other Republicans on the committee claim Ward flimflammed them, and Walden has said he tried repeatedly to get Ward to arrange a meeting with the auditor to go over the books. But Kari Chisholm on the BlueOregon blog raises what looks like a fair question: Why didn't Walden just pick up the phone and call the auditor himself?

Walden's excuse is "completely bogus," Chisholm writes. "After all, if you're the chair of the audit committee for an organization, it's clearly a bit odd if you never get a chance to meet the auditors that you've hired. Especially if that pattern goes on for years. Walden, after all, was the audits chair from 2003 to 2006."

Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who took over Walden's chairmanship of the oversight committee in 2007, finally discovered the alleged scam by calling the accounting firm that supposedly was doing the audits, whereupon he was told "they never heard of us."

As ominous music plays, the DPO's video (watch it here) opens with stark white words on a black background: "From 2002-2006, up to $1 million was stolen from the National Republican Congressional Committee. From 2003-2006, Greg Walden was in charge of auditing the NRCC's finances." (That's not strictly true, but it's close enough for politics.)

"Walden failed to notice the problem," the video continues. "Over three years, he never even called the NRCC's auditor."

"Now, Greg Walden wants to run for governor," the video concludes. "If he can't manage a phone call, can he manage a state?"

Walden's 2nd Congressional District is so deeply and solidly red that it would take a scandal many orders of magnitude bigger than this one to unseat him. But at least the missing million might make this year's race a bit more interesting - and if Walden does run for governor, it could make that campaign REAL interesting.

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