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CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULING ON COUNCILWOMAN CHEH


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CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULING

ON COUNCILWOMAN CHEH

 

 

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On February 16, 2007, the DC Office of Campaign Finance iniated an investigation into the campaign activities of DC City Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh based upon allegations made by Jonathan R. Rees and supported by former ward 3 city council candidates Erik Gaull, Robert Gordon, Bill Rice and Cathy Wiss on a point by point basis which alleged:

 

1. That DC Attorney General Linda Jill Singer and her husband Joe Sterlieb along with about twenty five (25) other people formed a political action committeee designed to endorse a ward 3 candidate, assist them in obtaining campaign contributions, votes and etcetera;

 

2. That DC City Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh was the beneficiary of the activities of this political action committee; and

 

3. That DC City Council Woman Mary M. Cheh accepted in-kind contributions on campaign rental space from PN Hoffman Company.

 

Today the DC Office of Campaign Finance issued a twenty four (24) page opinion on this matter.

 

Read their opinion >[ Here

 

In sum, the DC OCF accepting as true what was said and discovered through an investigation concluded in short:

 

1. That DC Attorney General Linda Jill Singer, her husband and others did form a group that gave the impression that it might be a political action committee but its overall behavior fell short to trigger the legal requirement(s) to file as a political action committee with the DC OCF;

 

2. That because DC Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh had issued separate checks to different business entities under the thumb of PN Hoffman Company, it gave the impression that she had gotten a sizable discount on her campaign headquarters which she began leasing in August 2006. ( Cheh did not in the OCF report account for any rental payments to Hoffman for August or September 2006 which means she got free rent for two months); and

 

3. That the OCF did assess a $500.00 fine but suspended the fine as it surrounded DC Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh's failure to affix a disclaimer on some of her campaign literature as to who paid for those hand-outs/mailings.

 

While the other complainants do not agree with the OCF's finding of facts and conclusion of law(s), Rees feels that those differences are apples and oranges and not worth noting an appeal on.

 

Rees and the others agree that DC Attorney General Linda Jill Singer, her husband Joe Sternlieb and others did form a political action committee as stated by all the other ward 3 candidates who they interviewed, the words and promises they made to all the ward 3 candidates were those of a political action committee, but because they failed to do a few minor things, their actions fell short of constituting a political action committee on it face.

 

Everyone from DC Attorney General Singer, DC Councilwoman Cheh and down the line were very sloppy in all they did, that have put the public at large on guard to all that they do in the future but this is not the first time Cheh has messed up and failed to dot her (i)s and cross her (t)s and it will not be the last.

 

From all outward indications in ward 3, DC Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh has already angered through her actions a large number of people who voted for her, her performance on the council has been dismal at best when compared to former ward 3 council member Kathy Patterson, and we believe that this complaint against Cheh is just one of many that will come from various groups or persons.

Edited by Slick Willie
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