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. john harrison

    if the charges against O'Donnell are true, she will fit in with the other members of Congress, can we say Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters

    September 20, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Gpenn

    I'm confident they will find many skeletons in her closet. Who paid her bills for six years while she had no job? Who paid to keep her house out of foreclosure?

    September 20, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |

    Ugg. Another Palin.

    September 20, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Angy

    Well they picked President Obama's life apart and I would guess this nut job deserves the same. witchcraft? really?? she is a total nut job. she has lied so much, I don't think she knows her name. LOL!

    September 20, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Jay T.

    In the spirit of honesty and transparency, can we start calling the Tea Party, the Cuckoo Party?

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

    For you Deleware tea partiers, you get what the tea party express pays for! These candidates need some vetting other than S. P.'s wink. What a sorry state for a national party.

    September 20, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Ellie

    OK, I'll bite. Why is this frivilous? I got this great idea Madame O'donnell. Show us how you supported yourself on 6K last year? Show us your paycheck stubbs.

    Show us the money.

    September 20, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. Christine O'Rangel

    Papa Charlie taught you well!

    September 20, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  9. jms58

    Just another idiot politician and people think this is change. I will stick with what we have.

    September 20, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. CNN: Stoking division in America since 1980

    Christine O'Donnell-Scott Brown 2012. Yeah!!!!

    September 20, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Drew Id

    Us witches und warlocks have got to stick togedder an' unite agianst whatevah we don't unnerstand but don't like bocoz we makes up things as we goes along.

    September 20, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. LMD

    Now that's what I want to hear!! using money that has been donated with good intentions,for her own use,is not right by any stretch of the imagination,but to her it's"frivolous". is this the person you want making decisions with the Country's money? Be Real!!

    September 20, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  13. Steve

    "citizen politicians who sacrifice for the greater good.." Ha, ha, ha... That's a good one! She's made a LIVING out of running for office!! But keep selling that snake oil Moron. There's obviously plenty of takers!! (And I'm sure YOU'RE working for free, because you believe in the "cause" so much! Not..)

    September 20, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  14. German,IrishAmerican

    Wow, the Democrats have proven that they will stoop to any low possible to retain a dictatorship of the country. Obama's campaign has still not shown where 40 million dollars in "donations" came from for his campaign, but will file a lawsuit for what they deem inappropiate use of $20,000. What pieces of trash this administration is.

    September 20, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. mj

    C'mon CNN. Nail her to the wall. By the way .. any follow up to how old Charlie is doing regarding the thousands he owes? How about the other crooks in Congress who haven't bothered to pay any of their taxes? If you just want to single out one person then be prepared to answer. Could it be that you are a little prejudiced?

    September 20, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Nellie Bly

    You know who loves Christine O'Donnell in Delaware? Squirrels!!

    September 20, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  17. fideauxdon

    I've come to the conclusion that according to the GOP, any charge, no matter how serious, that is leveled against them is "frivolous", while any charge that they level against the Dems, including calling them Liberals, should, according to the GOP, be a capital offense punishible by incarceration.
    Meanwhile, the Dems don't fight back and theGOP continues to convince no-tooth Goobers who earn $15K per year that they're Middle-Class people who hate Socialists. Attendance is down in Las Vegas because the best illusionists in the world are now working for the GOP.

    September 20, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Elizabeth

    She's running for the Senate from a very, very small state. We have a candidate running for Governor in our state who is currently a United States Senator and a total fruitcake. Not seeing ANY publicity about him! How much of a fool does he need to make of himself to garner the national spotlight?

    September 20, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. Sean

    She takes after her hero. You know, that other female politician who improperly spent taxpayers money on putting her children on planes and in nice hotels.

    But hey, like O'Donnell's spokesperson says, all this business about ol' Chrissie allegedly taking taxpayer's money to go bowling is "frivolous."

    Ever get the feeling that if one of these tea partiers was charged with murder, treason, genocide, or whatever the most horrible crime you can think of is- that their staffs and supporters would still consider the charges "frivolous"?

    September 20, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. CMG

    Please not another victim....The ways of Sarah Palin appear contagious. In this day and age, it is scary to be a woman as one is likely to be identified with these pathological freaks. Please someone save us from such marginal intellect.

    September 20, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Tesa Pinckney

    a simple solution... check the paper trail....... campaigns keep records Right?

    September 20, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. Bobby Ray

    The charges are always "frivolous" right up to the perp walk. It's that innocent until proven guilty thing.

    September 20, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. OPIE

    Yeah, what's wrong with a little white lie. she's already speaking like a politician. what happens when you give her an even bigger expense account. she'll be shopping for wardrobes with Palin "Gotta go shopping!" tax payer beware!

    September 20, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Oren

    Based on her past comments, she appears to be very naive & irresponsible, so I'm not surprised at all that she used campaign funds to pay her rent among other things. it's no different that taking money out of the cash register if you work retail. If it's found that she did indeed do this, then she should go to jail, not the senate.

    September 20, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Not my cup of tea!

    You see folks! The Republicans want to win so bad that they have recuited and know defending these deadbeats, alsysum patients and witchcraft satan worshipers they call the Tea Party candidates . All in the name of bringing down Obama.

    September 20, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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