September 20th, 2010
05:47 PM ET
4 years ago

O'Donnell campaign calls charges 'frivolous'

 Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell's campaign is calling a watchdog group's charge that the candidate used campaign funds for personal expenses 'frivolous.'
Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell's campaign is calling a watchdog group's charge that the candidate used campaign funds for personal expenses 'frivolous.'

(CNN) - Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell's campaign is calling "frivolous" a watchdog group's charge the candidate used campaign funds for personal expenses in a complaint filed with authorities Monday.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed complaints with the Delaware U.S. Attorney's Office and the Federal Election Commission against O'Donnell, charging that more than $20,000 of O'Donnell's spending in 2009 and 2010 was illegal because O'Donnell was no longer a candidate.

"By committing tax evasion, false statements, and basically embezzling her campaign funds, Ms. O'Donnell has basically broken criminal law, and must be held to account for that," CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan told CNN.


CREW is basing their complaint in part on the affidavit of a former campaign aide who charges that O'Donnell routinely used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses such as meals and gas. The aide, David Keegan, also told CNN's Gary Tuchman last week that O'Donnell paid for a bowling outing – among other things – during a time when she was not running for office.

But O'Donnell's campaign manager, Matt Moran, insisted that the charges would be proven false.

"I am very confident that it will be dismissed as frivolous. And for the charges that need to be articulated fully, we have some lawyers that will be looking at that and addressing those concerns," Moran told CNN's Brian Todd.

O'Donnell has faced a barrage of scrutiny following her surprise primary win over long-time Rep. Mike Castle last week, and has found herself having to explain past comments she made as a political commentator and conservative activist.

Moran questioned O'Donnell's critics' motives, suggesting that their issue was with O'Donnell as a candidate rather than with her spending or past comments.

"They can't get their handle on citizen politicians who sacrifice for the greater good. I think that is what the problem is here. We are running an outside the box campaign," Moran said.

This is O'Donnell's third bid for a Senate seat in five years. She came in third in the Republican primary in 2006, and in 2008 against then-Sen. Joe Biden.

–CNN's Kevin Bohn and Dugald McConnell contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2010 • Campaign finance • Christine O'Donnell • CREW
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Scott P.

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, I say, that a Republican was found CHEATING on something!

    SHOCKED!

    We all know how honest they are. And trustworthy. And paragons of wide-stanced virtues.

    September 20, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. Doc

    Of course they're frivilous, we all know that ethics only apply to Democrats anyway.

    September 20, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. jtsilver2th

    Oh ha ha- what is frivolous is O'Donnell- all this one gets is a foot note in history as one of the Tea Party crew that ruined the Republican Party- ha ha ha ha

    September 20, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Lucas Breen

    This year's Tea Party Slogan: Throw the Rascals In!

    September 20, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    It would appear that the voters in the great state of Delaware have an easy task at hand in November. Apparently Ms. O'Donnell's witches brew is wearing off...even on her Bush "lite" neocon cronies.

    September 20, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. Michael

    Maybe they are doing it 'cause she's a retarded religious freak who lies about everything and knows nothing...just a guess.

    September 20, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Mark in Omaha

    Another Palin like, mindless bobble head that will say ANYTHING to get elected...let the buyer beware, danger ensues

    September 20, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. Michael

    I hope no one is foolish enough to believe the campaign's slander of a non-partisan watchdog group. They are against corruption, regardless of political party. The attempt to smear CREW just heightens the perception that O'Donnell is guilty of what she is accused of.

    September 20, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Hardly frivolous darling, or don't you think the laws apply to you? You seem more and more like the old GOP every day. Lie, cheat, laws are for other people, I can do what ever I want because, because, well I guess because I'm a republican and these right wing nuts will stand behind me no matter what. Really!?!

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    September 20, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. John

    Christine O'Donnell is crooked and dabbled in witchcraft sound like a REPUBLICAN too me. Want i don't understand is way Delaware want this woman too be a U.S. Senate,their already enough crooked REPUBLICAN already there now.

    September 20, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Pam

    Yea, right, Okay...this lady is a nut bucket. She made some bad choices in the past, in lots of areas.
    GOP says, don't look back, we all make mistakes in the past.
    Yea, right, Okay...they could not do that two years ago? Why when it is one of their own, THEN it is the right thing to do?
    What is up with that????

    September 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. Marge

    The funny part about this is she can't hide the evidence. Saying she dabbled in witchcraft could be. But there is proof of all the other things she has done. First and foremost the IRS has PROOF about her income tax invasion, and by the way remember Capone went to jail for that and so did another Chicago gangster. So that's not something she can just slip out of.

    And the liens and the foreclosure and not paying the salaries of her employees, because she hadn't had a job in FIVE YEARS and was living on her campaign money. There is proof of all that. I would say this girl is in a heap of trouble. She can't just wink wink, you betcha. Alto I think Palin is giving her the idea she can.

    September 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. Hot Patata

    How, exactly, is embezzling campaign funds for personal use "frivolous"? Unless "frivolous" is a new word for "direct violation of federal election law", I'm lost. I don't remember the term "citizen politician" in any Constitutional Article or federal law, either.

    Isn't great when we can just make up words and phrases to cover our own butts? Welcome to Oceania!

    September 20, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. Sick of Tea

    If you haven't done so already, please go the CREW website and sign the petition that’s being forwarded to the U.S. Attorney for Delaware requesting him to launch an investigation into O’Donnell’s alleged ethics violations.

    September 20, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Pat

    O'donnel is frivolous. Nuff sed.

    September 20, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Teena

    What is so FRIVOLOUS about the ILLEGAL use of campaign funds?
    If you are not accountable for campaing funds how will you be accountable for the tax funds received into the government's coffers?

    September 20, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. E. Tree

    Not just a witch, but a crooked witch!

    September 20, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  18. NO Tea For Me

    Tea Party is this the best you can do? You are backing some wacko's.

    September 20, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. Dan

    Welcome to the big time, O'Donnell!

    September 20, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. George

    No wonder sister Sarah supports her so much. Sarah Palin also billed the state of Alaska for the time she had family dinner at home. Remember the expensive dress Sarah Plain bought using campaign money? These morons talk about fiscal discipline while spending other's money for personal things.

    September 20, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. GaryB

    The witchcraft stuff is frivolous. Mismanagement of campaign funds is a big deal if someone is claiming to be a fiscal conservative. Possible criminal mismanagement is a very big deal is someone is asking for the public's trust.

    September 20, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. n8whit

    Another hit job and will be constantly covered as newsworthy by the same liberal media that absolutely refused to cover Obama's real scandalous past.

    September 20, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. gee

    Typical LIBERALs. They resort to smear campaigns and childish name calling instead on going on their record. It is sad that their record is leading the US down the toilet.

    September 20, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. gee

    Here we go again..... Typical LIBERALs. They resort to smear campaigns and childish name calling instead on going on their record. It is sad that their record is leading the US down the toilet.

    September 20, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. kfc

    Wingnut of the month.

    September 20, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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