Complaint in Place Tres Race
Kim calls fouls on Shade's contributions, but ethics complaint looks more like PR push
By Wells Dunbar,
10:53AM, Fri. May 2, 2008
If you haven't heard, there's been an ethics complaint lodged in the increasingly acrimonious Place 3 Jennifer Kim/Randi Shade duel. On Thursday, Kim's camp lodged a formal ethics complaint against Shade for failing to report "bundled" money from firms.
I'm not a lawyer, but on its face, this complaint looks hella weak. It says Shade didn't report the contributions as bundled, but there's seemingly no evidence to suggest they were. It simply looks like several members of the firms in question – Endeavor Real Estate Group, Ambrust & Brown, and Reagan Advertising – gave to Shade's campaign, which, politically connected players with money to burn are often wont to do. If anything, it looks like an attempt to highlight Shade's politically unpopular donors – and if there was any question, this quote from campaign manager Elliott McFadden removes all doubt:
"We have firms involved in unpopular projects, which Jennifer Kim has opposed, like tax giveaways for corporate retail, the Wal-Mart at Northcross, and billboards on scenic roadways, and Randi Shade appears to be hiding her direct association with these firms.”There's also this unconfirmed report of greasy anti-Shade robocalls, which you can read about here.
Just keep telling yourself: only eight more days of this!
Full press release from McFadden below the fold.
UPDATE: Oops! In Fact Daily reports Shade has copped to a bundling oversight:
Shade campaign comptroller Susan Harry issued a statement Thursday night, saying "It was an honest oversight on the part of our campaign. We determined this afternoon that we had four people who met the criteria of a bundler in the last reporting cycle, and we will be amending that report tomorrow. We will also be reporting two new bundlers in our new report, due tomorrow.”Like I said, I'm not a lawyer.
Kim campaign files Ethics Complaint Against Randi Shade
Shade fails to report firms bundling money for her campaign
Austin- Today, Elliott McFadden with the Jennifer Kim Campaign filed an ethics complaint with the City Ethics Review Commission against Randi Shade over her failure to report the bundling of money from development firms.
“It appears from her campaign finance reports that Randi Shade has had thousands of dollars in donations bundled from certain development firms and failed to report the bundling as required by law,” McFadden stated.
City election code requires individuals that raise $100 or more from 5 people or more on behalf of a candidate be listed as a bundler. Randi Shade received contributions from 11 out of 13 principals at Endeavor Real Estate Group, 17 out of 28 attorneys at Ambrust & Brown, and all 4 partners at Reagan Advertising totaling $16,500 in bundled money.
“This begs the question of what Shade is hiding by not reporting this information.,” McFadden continued. “We have firms involved in unpopular projects, which Jennifer Kim has opposed, like tax giveaways for corporate retail, the Wal-Mart at Northcross, and billboards on scenic roadways, and Randi Shade appears to be hiding her direct association with these firms.”
Endeavor is the developer of The Domain which is expected to receive over $65 million in tax subsidies from the City and Ambrust & Brown is the law firm representing Lincoln Properties in their development of Wal-Mart at Northcross Mall as well as representing Endeavor. Reagan Advertising owns a majority of the billboards in the Austin market and had been promoting a proposal that would have put billboards on some of Austin’s designated scenic roadways.
Failure to disclose required campaign finance information under the city code is a class C misdemeanor.