Friday, March 24, 2006

Full Disclosure

It must be tough on political candidates to have everyone watching what you are doing. Must be even worse to have your constituents (or possible future constituents) look into your background and question your record, including what you’ve left out—in some cases intentionally. I guess that’s why “full disclosure” is always the best policy. I’ve always tried to be that open and honest. I wish more politicians and wannabes were the same way.

So, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am divulging what I’ve been up to for the last week or so. After looking into the FEC complaint procedure, I have mailed an official complaint about Bern Ewert’s FEC filings to the Office of the General Counsel in Washington, D.C. There are too many details that just don’t add up, in my opinion. We are talking about someone who began talking about running for Congress and getting letters of support in “late spring or early summer;” had radio and newspaper publicity in the middle of November; and made his official candidacy announcements in Charlottesville, Danville, and Bedford on December 3, 2005. We’re talking about someone who told 5th District Democratic chairs that he had “filed in January but the FEC did not get his documents,” signed “replacement” paperwork one day before he told a reporter he “doesn’t know why it (his name) is not listed on the agency’s Web site,” and, at the same time, reported that he had raised between $20,000 and $30,000 by the third week in February. You know, my BS indicator goes crazy over this kind of stuff. Therefore, I am questioning his filings, how much he spent in the 7-8 months from first talking about it until the end of the year and how much he had in donations (including in-kind).

I mailed my notarized document (original letter with documentation plus four copies) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006, at 4:07 P.M. At least that’s what my postal receipts say. The one for certified mail is hand stamped with the various postage amounts and the date, while the computer-generated receipt has only the total money amount but also included a timestamp in addition to the date. We are definitely high-tech at the local post office.

Receipts can tell you a whole lot about a mailing transaction. My certified mail slip also records that I wanted a return receipt as well. I want to know who signed for the documents and exactly how long it takes for a package to get to Washington, D.C., from little ol’ podunk Cumberland County. We’re pretty much out in the sticks here—not like Charlottesville, which is right on a major interstate. So it won’t be long before I have the answers to my “who” and “how long” questions.

Of course, with online tracking I’ll know when it was delivered long before the little green postcard arrives in my mailbox. And, hopefully, the FEC can clear up some of the mysteries about Bern’s filings as well. I’ll keep you posted.


At 1:22 AM, Blogger Libertas said...

Interesting that so much anti-Bern stuff comes out of Cumberland...Did Bern do something to you folks out there?

I'm not saying you arent justified, I don't have a dog in this race!

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

What has Bern Ewert done? He has not been honest with voters in the fifth district. He has manipulated his record and downplayed his problems. And he got mad when I told him so after the Danville breakfast--just like he has so many times over the years in his various positions when people did not agree with him. For details about the Danville breakfast, our discussion there and his problems when someone questions what he says, see an earlier posting on my blog entitled "That Famous Bern Ewert Temper."

All I know is the resume Bern handed me during our conversation that day had a one-sentence description about Explore Park hidden under the topic of being president of his company from 1985 to 1996 in Roanoke and Charlottesville. The majority of this paragraph centers on his work in the Czech Republic, which he touts at every given opportunity including that breakfast meeting. But Explore Park? No mention in his remarks that day--or in any of the podcasts I've heard or in any of the news articles that he's had since he began talking about running for Congress early last year. Bern worked on the Explore Park project from 1985 (when he left Roanoke as city manager) to 1991 (when the foundation decided not to renew his contract). Now, if a 5 to 6-month stint in Peoria takes one-half of a page on his four-page resume and a 15-month stint in Galveston takes a large paragraph, shouldn't a SIX YEAR job as an Executive Director merit more than one sentence hidden among other stuff about his company? I told him that and expressed my opinion that he was not being honest with the voters in the 5th District if he did not put his full record out there for people to see. His response--I was overreacting.

Now that's a comment I considered highly chauvinistic at the time when you also consider the way he said it. His whole attitude was similar to: "Go on back to the kitchen now and let us men handle the details about this." There's nothing that makes me more annoyed than being treated like a brainless female or being told what to do. Both are kinda like the red flag before the bull. I became determined to show I was not just a female trying to become involved in a man's world. I would do my research and post what I found, which is very telling and appears on this blog in numerous posts. That I reside in Cumberland is not a factor in any of this.

[NOTE: For someone else's research and more information on Bern's "hidden" involvement with Explore Park, check out:]


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