Christine O’Donnell has had her share of problems since winning the nomination for Republican Senate candidate from Delaware last week. Things got even worse Monday when a government watchdog called for O’Donnell to be prosecuted.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, filed a complaint alleging O’Donnell had used $20,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses.
“Christine O’Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a release. “Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate.”
CREW is requesting that the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware open a criminal investigation and asking the Federal Election Commission to audit O’Donnell’s campaign expenses.
The group said its allegations are tied to former O’Donnell aide David Keegan’s affidavit stating O’Donnell, who has run for Senate three times, paid her rent for two months out of campaign funds in 2009 and also used campaign funds for meals and gas. In addition to misappropriation of campaign funds, CREW argues that O’Donnell is guilty of lying about the expenditures and committed tax evasion by not reporting the money as income.
Representatives for O’Donnell, whose financial disclosure form said her earned income between March 2009 and June 2010 was just $5,800, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sloan told CNN that partisan politics played no part in their complaint against O’Donnell.
“We’re about right and wrong and not about black or white, Republican or Democrat,” she said. “And it is flat-out wrong for a candidate for the U.S. Senate to be stealing her campaign funds and be using them for personal use.”
This isn’t the first time that the O’Donnell campaign has faced negative publicity. For weeks, questions have swirled about how long it took the candidate to pay back student loans, how she earns a living, and if she has had tax troubles.
The Republican Party’s hopes for winning back the Senate rest on a perennial candidate with a sketchy employment history who has dissembled about her education, defaulted on her student loan and her mortgage, sued a former employer for mental anguish, railed against the evils of masturbation and questioned whether it would have been OK to lie to prevent Nazis from killing Jews during World War II.
On the eve of her nomination, Republican strategist Karl Rove worried that O’Donnell has said “nutty things.”
On his Friday show, HBO’s Bill Maher broadcast a 1999 video of O’Donnell admitting she had “dabbled” in witchcraft while in high school. Following that video, the candidate failed to appear on two Sunday morning news shows.
It was revealed Monday that a former O’Donnell aide once wrote that President Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim.
Jon Moseley told TPMuckraker‘s Ryan J. Reilly that he still holds those beliefs.
“Yes, actually, I do,” Jonathan Moseley told TPM on Monday when asked if he still believes that Obama secretly practiced the Islamic faith.
“The reason being that becoming a Christian is more than simply rooting for a football team,” Moseley said. “There’s an actual conversion that takes place. And I don’t think we’ve ever seen evidence that he ever converted.”