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  1. #1

    Default Istook audit finds financial violations!!

    Istook audit finds financial violations
    By Chris Casteel
    Washington Bureau
    WASHINGTON — Former Oklahoma Congressman Ernest Istook improperly spent campaign money on a trip to the 2004 Sugar Bowl and other personal items, according to a Federal Election Commission audit that found numerous financial violations in Istook's 2004 re-election campaign.


    The audit says that in 2003 and 2004, Istook's campaign took donations from corporations, which are prohibited; took excessive contributions from some donors; failed to provide the required information for some donors; failed to disclose more than $26,000 in last-minute contributions.

    The FEC audit also accused the campaign of repeatedly misstating its receipts and expenditures.

    Among the nearly $7,000 worth of personal items improperly purchased with campaign funds were CDs, jewelry, airfare, groceries and gas, in addition to the Sugar Bowl trip, according to the audit.

    For some of the items, including the jewelry and groceries, Istook said he accidentally used the campaign credit card instead of his own.

    A summary of what the audit found

    •Taking prohibited contributions: The audit found Istook's campaign accepted $10,825 from corporations, limited liability companies and a labor organization. Federal law prohibits contributions from those sources. The campaign has refunded the money.

    •Taking excessive contributions: The campaign received $59,100 in contributions that exceeded the legal donation limit. The problems stemmed from campaign staff not properly designating that some of the money was for the primary election and some was for the general election, or for not designating that part of the contribution was from a donor's spouse. And the staff didn't correct the mistakes within the legal timeframe, meaning the money had to be refunded.

    •Personal use of campaign funds: Auditors first identified $8,936 in expenditures that they thought to be for personal — rather than campaign-related — items. The campaign eventually provided documentation showing nearly $2,000 of that amount was justified.

    The items examined included a trip that cost $1,861 by Istook and his son to New Orleans for the 2004 Sugar Bowl game. The campaign told the FEC that Istook had planned to hold fundraisers in New Orleans and fact-finding trips to the Port of New Orleans and nearby shipbuilding yards as part of his duties as a congressman. However, the fundraising events and trips were cancelled.

    The auditors also examined $1,604 spent for OU football tickets and $600 for Broadway theater tickets. They also looked at $649 spent on an airline ticket for Istook's wife, computer supplies, flowers, gasoline for a trip to Dallas for the OU-Texas game and a meal in New York City.

    Another $2,615 included charges on the campaign credit card for CDs, airfare, department store purchases, jewelry, groceries, gas and membership fees.

    Istook said he used the wrong credit card by mistake and reimbursed the campaign after the audit commenced. Also, former campaign manager Kyle Loveless charged the campaign for drug store purchases, a studio tour, lodging, dry cleaning, a hair cut and flowers. He also reimbursed the campaign during the audit for those expenses.

    The audit also found that Istook's campaign could not properly document all of the official business for which it was using a vehicle being leased by the campaign.

    The audit said Istook and Loveless had reimbursed the campaign or pledged to reimburse a total of $6,939.

    The campaign was able to provide documentation that $1,997 was not for personal use. But the audit doesn't make clear which items the FEC determined had been justified expenditures.

    •Misstatement of financial activity: Campaign finance reports filed with the commission in 2003 and 2004 routinely misstated how much money was received and spent and how much cash was in the bank. The discrepancies ranged from $32,621 in understated expenditures to $26,102 in understated receipts.

    •The campaign failed to provide the required information about donations from political committees.

    •The campaign failed to provide enough or accurate information about expenditures.

    •The campaign failed to provide information about debts and obligations to six vendors.

    •The campaign failed to report 20 contributions totaling $26,250 received in the days just before the election.

    •The campaign failed to deposit numerous checks from political committees and individual donors within 10 days of receiving them, as required.

    •The campaign provided incorrect information on a form that can be used by opponents to determine whether they are eligible to receive higher amounts from donors.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Istook audit finds financial violations!!

    If all this is true, or even half true. Shouldn't Istook be facing some jail time? Granted he still has his right to due process and all, but if Caroll Fisher is going to jail for what he did, and he should, I'm not defending him by any means. And for what little I know and or remember of the Fisher crime(s) details, they seem to pale when compared to the allegations of wrong doing by Istook.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Istook audit finds financial violations!!

    There's a reason they call him Is-crook. Those are not minor violations. Of course, little good it did him in the last race: he was outraised about four to one.

    I'm glad we put him out to pasture. Unfortunately, Mary doesn't bring much to the table either.

    As a state, we have the worst representation in Washington in the entire country.

  4. Default Re: Istook audit finds financial violations!!

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerguru View Post
    There's a reason they call him Is-crook. Those are not minor violations. Of course, little good it did him in the last race: he was outraised about four to one.

    I'm glad we put him out to pasture. Unfortunately, Mary doesn't bring much to the table either.

    As a state, we have the worst representation in Washington in the entire country.
    I have said this many times before, however, I call him "I-took."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Istook audit finds financial violations!!

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerguru View Post

    As a state, we have the worst representation in Washington in the entire country.
    So true. The entire delegation is an embarrasment.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Istook audit finds financial violations!!

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerguru View Post
    There's a reason they call him Is-crook. Those are not minor violations. Of course, little good it did him in the last race: he was outraised about four to one.

    I'm glad we put him out to pasture. Unfortunately, Mary doesn't bring much to the table either.

    As a state, we have the worst representation in Washington in the entire country.
    Reading comprehension...it's from his 2004 congressional race (which he won), not the gubernatorial campaign in '06.

    Could Henry have out-raised him by so much with a little help from his buddy Gene Stipe?

  7. Default Re: Istook audit finds financial violations!!

    what a loser, and to think he said OKC was not a viable city for rapid transit.

    he should be thrown in jail - and lose the key!!!

    POSER,,,
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

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