Tuesday, August 5, 2014

After A Series Of Miscues Candidate Now Says Her Campaign Records Stolen

Liz Fessler Smith is a first time candidate running for State Representative in Michigan's 44th District, against 
Dennis Garlick, Russ Tierney and current Oakland County County Commissioner Jim Runestad. 

Although this is her first run at a public political office, she does come from an interesting political family and miscues do run in her family. 

Her father Richard Kessler served as Senator from 1983 to 1990 but had a miscue in 1987 when he made the papers in November of that year, after being arrested.  Not to be out done her mother, Marilyn Fessler also had some miscues, one such when she made the news after she had a bench arrest warrant issued for contempt of court in 1988, and a police raid was conducted at the family's home in search of Marilyn Fessler. 

Ms.Liz Fessler Smith has had a series of miscues during her campaign from sending out a campaign fundraising
flyer listing former 11th district chair , Abe Munfakh as 11th district chair when the current chairman is Michael Mitchell. Many on the 11th District Board that chose to remain neutral in this state rep race thought this was an underhanded attempt by Ms. Fessler Smith to make it look as if her former board was behind her.  Ms. Fessler Smith previously served on the 2013-2015 11th District Congressional Board, until she was forced to resign due to the 11th District  Board by-laws requiring a board member to resign if they decide to run in a contested Republican Primary.   

The next miscue Ms. Fessler Smith made was when she sent out an e-mail with a photograph of former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, while he was in town supporting another candidate.  Ms. Fessler Smith stated in the e-mail that Mitt Romney was behind her campaign and suggested that she post that picture of the two of them in her campaign materials.  According to numerous Facebook posts from long term Republicans, they asked State Committee Woman and Mitt Romney's niece Ronna Romney McDaniel if her uncle would say something like that.  Even though Ms. McDaniel endorsed former fellow 11th District Board Member Liz Fessler Smith, the facebook posts said she said, "No, He wouldn't have." 

Did Mitt Romney Really Endorse Liz Fessler Smith?

Now we come to the biggest miscue of them all campaign finance reports.  Every candidate must file them, however Ms. Fessler Smith has reported that they were stolen from her mother's vehicle on or around July 25th.  

Ms. Fessler Smith said her paper records were swiped on the same day pre-primary campaign finance report was due to be filed with state election regulators. She notified the Bureau of Elections via email on the evening of July 25 that “our campaign finance information has been stolen along with some other campaign information/records and signs,” records show.

Ms. Fessler Smith suggested one of her opponents may have played a role in the theft, though she offered no evidence.

Ms. Fessler Smith's husband is the campaign treasurer and by reported accounts, preparing to put the campaign information into the State's online system when the supposed theft occurred.  

White Lake Township police have few leads in the week-old case, said assigned detective Lt. Larry Sheldon on Friday.

There was no evidence of forced entry and approximately 100 campaign signs were reported stolen, which is common during election years, Sheldon said.

The chairman of the Oakland County Republican Party said Fessler Smith’s story “doesn't add up.”

“It’s the most ludicrous statement I’ve heard in any campaign in 30 years that somebody stole my papers,” Oakland GOP Chairman Jim Thienel.

Given that campaigns spending more than $5,000 have to store fundraising data electronically, Fessler Smith would have been up against the deadline to prepare her report, Thienel said.

According to numerous Facebook posts, the Secretary of State is not sitting idly by either.  Reports state they have fined the campaign $500 and are now in the process of contacting the Attorney General's office as no campaign reports have been filed.    One simply cannot just walk away and not file the appropriate campaign paperwork.  The State keeps specific reports to prevent commingling of campaign funds into other accounts such as business or personal. 

Some have posted on Facebook and are suggesting that this is a ploy as perhaps Ms. Fessler Smith received donations from a major Republican insider or politician who is now embarrassed to have made a contribution to this campaign. 

Does Ms. Fessler Smith think she is better than the rest of the candidates? Those that play by the rules and have been active in the party with proven track records and experience.  One has to wonder. 

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