[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/20/art.odonell.gi.9.20.10.jpg caption =" 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.
Laws, they're frivolous when they apply to me! She will likely hold the Constitution with the same regard.
Geez! Is this the best the O'Donnell people came come up with: "We are running an Outside-the-Box campaign.\"??!?! So outside the box that it's outside the bounds of legal activity? So outside the box that the candidate is exposed as an "empty suit" who sounds really, really, good but can't keep any kind of job by just sounding good? EXCEPT, of course, the job of being the new darling of the tea party? Is she going to do this the Palin-way? Get elected to an office; make a bunch of waves; resign; write books and charge mountains of money to appear in public? Christine O'Donnell is a marshmallow, and Delaware Republicans have no shame.
If she has nothing to hide than she should be welcoming the investigation so as to clear her name.
You sillies, she is a republican, laws are for the LITTLE people!
You can REALLY tell when a candidate has the Democrats WORRIED!! They throw incredible amounts of mud hoping SOMETHING will stick. If O'Donnell didn't really "matter" you would not have heard word one from the Democrats. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm.............
Witches, my little one, can do anything that they want including stealing the (toto) election.
Most people who vote RepubliCON do not care if they commit tax evasion, make false statements, and embezzle campaign funds or that they break criminal law. Their supporters never ask them to be responsible or accountable for any of their words or actions.
Frivolous! What's wrong with these people. Embezzlement is theft!