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

O'Donnell campaign calls charges 'frivolous'

[cnn-photo-caption image= 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.

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

    She did it, she stole the tax payers monies to live off of. And now she's running for office.

    September 20, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Christine O'Donnell is frivolous. But, as dumb as she appears to be about campaign finances, she is a lot brighter than most tea baggers.

    September 20, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Eric

    Ah, well... gosh, if it's coming from the vaunted and esteemed non-partisan non-hacks at CREW, well then, GOSH, it MUST be true, right?

    Yes, but what does Move.On.Org and Kos say?


    September 20, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. robb

    Frivolous is a word you might use to address claims that you dabbled in witchcraft.

    These are serious charges, and Ms O'Donnell's use of the word frivolous underscores what a poor choice for Senate she would be.

    September 20, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Donnatella

    I hope this little witch get arrested, there is nothing fiscally responsible about this woman and the fact that the tea party supports her proves that they are frauds.

    September 20, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. norma

    How many more imbeciles do the Republicans want as their compatriots? What a sham. This female wanna be is the dumbest yet, and her act-like-Palin little laugh is sad. The comedians are having a field day, but in reality she is no laughing matter. Why would anyone put themselves out for the world to see just how crazy one can be. Certainly no one except Jim Jones can believe what she's telling us – she's trying to sound like she's a Christian, but she's a disgrace to Christianity. This makes me want to become an atheist its so bizarre. This group of Republicans have injured our military to the core. What can our fighting forces be thinking when they hear this kind of trash, why would they want to fight for anything. How harmful all this bitterness and shame they have to bear while still trying to stay alive everyday. How can the people doing this think its right? Its so terribly wrong and their people won't ask them to stop. Have mercy on us all.

    September 20, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  7. The reality is...

    Anything O'Donnell may have done which is improper or illegal in her lifetime pales in light of all the guilt the established two major Parties have been getting away with for the past 3 decades.

    September 20, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Mary Kay Claus

    I so love this woman – she has been the best thing for the Democratic Party since...oh, Sarah "Pain" Palin. Rock on sista!

    September 20, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. Patriot

    If she broke the law, put her in jail. Period.

    September 20, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. SanFran

    Unfortunately she is as dumb and as crooked as Joe Biden, no improvement in sight for Delaware.

    September 20, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |

    Frivolous ? ... sure that is why her very conservative campaign Treasurer resigned and went to the media ... she is a liar and cheat ... ... and now she admits she dabbled in witchcraft ? wow what convictions ... the ideal candidate ...The Tea Bagger's poster woman is destroying the credibilty of the entire movement

    September 20, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Guest

    The lady is under a microscope and she looks like a bad germ!!!

    September 20, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Ralph

    More George Soros front group slander....
    ho hum....

    September 20, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Blablabla

    What's frivolous about being ignorant, bigot, uneducated and ... a witch?

    September 20, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. Patsy, Texas

    If she is fiscally responsible, she can prove it. Show me the receipts!

    September 20, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. Robin in SC

    Note that the allegations are not denied. Frivolous? The witchcraft comments could be tagged as frivolous, maybe, but not illegal campaign spending. Sadly, the radical right will spin this so that O'Donnell appears to be the victim.

    September 20, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Crazy Harry

    All I can say is get used to this. You are supported a group of people who think it's nothing to throw a little mud, "extend" facts, and are down right hateful people.

    You made your bed. Time to sleep in it.

    September 20, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. lovable liberal

    It's not just a campaign account. It's a sole proprietorship!

    September 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Terrence

    Tell me again why she should be excempted from following the law? I think it is hypocritical to be running on fiscal conservatism and at the same time embezzling campaign funds. Did the GOP even bother screening their candidates? Or is it all about who has the loudest microphone who gets elected nowadays and forget about integrity and qualifications anymore?

    September 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. Shelly

    Are the voters in Delaware serious?? This woman is nuts....she has NO integrity if she has been using campaign funds for personal use;
    her involvement in witchcraft is very she concocting brews to improve the economy? And then her holier than thou : lust in one's heart" is sinful....witch planet is she from????

    September 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Should Christine O'Donnell win the Senate seat she will vote exactly how her contibutors, lobbyists and special interest groups tell her to vote. She needs not to even bother to read the legislation on the table. When things are going badly, she will participate 'grandly' in her filibustering efforts thereby blocking possibly worthwhile legislation. All the while completely ignoring the needs of her Delaware constituents. can take that to the bank! (Most likely foreign)

    September 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Mandy

    As the forces in power align against her, it's looking more and more like "Ms. Smith goes to Washington" every day.


    Please. Now CNN let's see that string of pieces reminding folks of Hillary Clinton's seance's in the white house to "channel the ghost of eleanor roosevelt"

    Oh but that's right. You're repeaters not reporters, part of the machine. Go check the journ-o-list you might have some new instructions!

    September 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Pedro

    Perhaps she can just cast some spell or brew a potion to make these charges go away.

    September 20, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. Suzy

    She has that same vacant look in her eyes that Palin has. The look of simple incompetence and extreme religious beliefs. Why hasn't she had a job in all these years, why does she use campaign finances for non-campaign expenditures, why did she dabble in witchcraft, why does she refuse to go on TV interview shows? You name it, she's lacking in what it takes to be a leader.

    September 20, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. JW Nicholson

    Christine O'Dennell AKA Sarah Palin Lite

    September 20, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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