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. jackson

    Just keep on's a beautiful sight. Someone needs to tell the GOP that before they reclaim the House *or* the Senate, they need to reclaim their dignity.

    September 20, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. True American

    And the trail of phony conservatism keep leading to the Tea Party....Palin, Bachmann, Perry, O'Donnell.

    September 20, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. demnomore

    CREW is nothing but a bunch of left wing hacks. Why don't you report on that? Report on who these people really are. And why are there NO storries about Coon, "The Bearded marxist"?

    September 20, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. Jesse James

    So, Tell me, where is Sarah Palin in defending this woman...

    September 20, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I have to agree with Karl Rove, O'Donnell needs to stand in for herself and not send messages through a second source, this makes her look guilty as accused.

    September 20, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. D0 not reply to this

    There is NOTHING "frivolous" about this! If there were, Clinton would not have been so scrutinized in his 'affair." Now THAT was frivolous!!! It appears to play a HUGE role in getting her where she is and that is called "cheating-the-system!" Along with her "dabbling" in satinism/witchcraft/whatever...These people need to be questioned on their values and tell ALL of AMERICA, not just Delaware, on where they stand. Because you see, they are not only representing their home state but, the whole UNITED states of America when they go to Washington DC to REPRESENT US! I, for one, am tired of the pointing fingers and he said she said bull$hit! TELL US WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO FOR US! Not what your opponent is/has done! This $hit is sickening and I will NOT vote for ANY negative ad(s). Tell US what YOU are GOING to DO!!! Time to stop this crap...

    September 20, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Zen'ichi Maro

    "citizen politician?" What are the other politicians, illegal aliens? What a bunch of rot! And what a totally inane dodge for some very serious accusations against a candidate who seems to be someone to take anything but seriously. If Palin, Beck, Angle, O'Donnell, and the rest are the best the so-called Tea Party has to offer, then I'll GLADLY take my chances with the Dems this November.

    September 20, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Ron

    Based on the ethics makeup of the current administration and questions (Ala Rangel), I'm really not too concerned about this. And now they wish to start up the Salem witch trials again.


    September 20, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. mike

    The republicans hate this and any other law meant to curb their embezzeling of campaign funds. They oppose regulations on anything from campaing spending to dumping raw sewage in the rivers, so it stands to reason she would think this is frivolous.

    September 20, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. NancyG

    So much for fiscal responsibility and restraint.

    September 20, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. What is the country coming to

    Say it anit so !

    September 20, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. The Tea Party is another Koch Brothers Product

    This turnip missed the truck.She doesnt have a clue, just like the rest of the Koch Brother sponsored morons.

    September 20, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Poor thing - just like sara - she's innocent - they're picking on her. Poor little thing.

    September 20, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. mccoy230023

    Another Sarah Palin...........

    September 20, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. USA 1

    Frivolous, just like her....

    September 20, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. Surthurfurd

    Lets see who blindly supports her and who blindly opposes her. Most of the time we choose a side then decide what is "true" as opposed to weighing evidence then making a decision.

    September 20, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. gerry luimes

    O'Donnel is Sarah's girl. As a senator(IF she succeeds) she is
    well positioned to help the country reach a status of Third World entity.
    Only in the U.S.A, you say? Pity.

    September 20, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Patrish

    This gal pretty much does as she wants, figuring nothing will happen to her. If if the rest of did some of things she did our credit would be in shambles and we couldn't even get a job. Oh, wait, she doesn't have a job!

    September 20, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  19. oldsoldierboy

    Christine O' Donnell's personal life represents everything the tea party claims they're against. Let's just forget for a moment that she dabbled in witchcraft and had a picnic date with blood (hopefully not human) at the alter. She's a leader of their party (Taxed Enough Already) yet she hasn't paid her taxes. I thought they hated tax cheats. She spent campaign funds on her rent and entertainment while refusing to pay her staff. I thought they opposed people with no morales. She hasn't had a job since 2004. I thought they opposed freeloaders and nonproductive members of society. This is the tea party chance to prove that they're serious about their convictions by refusing to cast their vote in support of O'Donnell. Do they have the guts to take a stand on their principles? I seriously doubt it but time will tell.

    September 20, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. rdepontb

    Young lady,

    There are lots of things you can throw back at detractors. But the fact is, these are not detractors, these are fact checkers, and it will do you no good to try to trivialize or laugh off such serious charges as involve financial dealings. We can maybe accept that in your youth, you confused "witchcraft" and "satanism"–two very different entities. That shows, probably, how much in the shallow end of that pool you acturally were. But it is a very different matter when money, nepotism and worse–lying about your actions-are concerned.

    September 20, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. T'SAH from Virginia

    Definition of frivolous -not serious in content or attitude or behavior – superficial; of little value or importance; trifling; trivial; not properly serious or sensible; silly and light-minded; giddy... and so on!!!

    I love the way the RepubliCAN'Ts are trying to make this out to be NOTHING!! Nowhere in this Ticker is O'Donnell 'denying' it!!! Therefore, it's TRUE that she is a THIEF!!

    I believe she is 'running' for the 'money' – she has no regard for ALL voters, just her selfish FAR-RIGHT!! For these reasons, she will NOT win and most likely will NEVER win. When she 'does not' win this time, 2010, she better give up running because she will be watched with binoculars and the money will be counted!!!

    DEmocrats in DE – STATE the CASE – UNITE the BASE and win this LOCAL RACE in November 2010!!!

    This is T'SAH – the Liberal – and I approve this message!!

    September 20, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. conniesz

    From the article:

    "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.

    Actually, what we can't get a handle on is people who consider themselves above the law and normal ethics because they see themselves as "citizen politicians". They should be more careful, not less, to present a clean, honest image to the public. Personal use of campaign funds is not only unethical – it is against the law.

    September 20, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. Jim in Florida

    The attacks on this woman continue by the attack dog media. Guess CNN has a whipping girl to replace Palin for a while.

    September 20, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. Deborah

    Could she be more of a vacuous, airheaded Sarah Palin clone? Can't wait for the fallout from this idiot's trail of destruction.

    September 20, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. key

    She will eventually give the campaign funds back calling it a mistake in accounting but remember that's her mothers job for know. Its the her big cooperate business buddies to give her the money.

    September 20, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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