Oleszek Scandals Abound
I just received the below media release regarding a breaking scandal involving Janet Oleszek’s horrendous campaign to unseat principled pro-family conservative Senator Ken Cuccinelli. If you haven’t been following this race, a good way to get up to speed on the clear contrast between the two candidates is to watch some of the debate footage. Ms. Oleszek couldn’t be any more incompetent and it looks like her campaign reflects this ineptitude as well insofar as they can't incorporate proper disclosure statements into their ads. Even more troubling is her apparently illegal attempt to hide the source of big last minute donors- probably due to the extreme source. Anyways... see for yourself:
CUCCINELLI FOR STATE SENATE
November 1, 2007
Janet Oleszek’s Campaign Finances Just Don’t Add Up!
· Fact: Janet Oleszek’s campaign reported $76,856.21 on hand for the period ending October 24th.
· Fact: All General Assembly candidates are required to report contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours of receipt from October 25th through the Election. Janet Oleszek’s large campaign financial reports show she has received $27,282 in large donations since that time. Nearly $17,000 of this was from the Democratic Party of Virginia for a mailing.
· Fact: On or about October 30, 2007, Janet Oleszek’s campaign purchased $200,000 in broadcast television advertising. The disclaimer on the ads states that the ads were paid for by Janet Oleszek for State Senate, not a third party.
Do the math and one question immediately arises!
· Where is the money coming from for Ms. Oleszek to buy $200,000 in TV time?
Other ‘inconvenient truths’ for the Oleszek campaign:
· Fact: T.V. stations will not air campaign ads without C.O.D. – cash on desk – BEFORE running the ad. This confirms that the $200,000 was received more than 48 hours ago, as the air time could not have been bought without the cash in hand.
· Fact: Ms. Oleszek’s ad began airing on October 31st.
· Fact: As of 2:30 p.m. on November 1st, the State Board of Elections had not been notified of any contributions to the Oleszek campaign that would pay for the ads.
And then there are the follow-up questions:
· Is Janet claiming she has received 200 contributions of $999 to pay for those ads?
· Are out-of-state interests funding these ads and Janet isn’t telling? Or have the Democrats dumped $200,000 into the race in an effort to knock Senator Cuccinelli out?
· Is Janet hiding her supporters from voters because she is embarrassed of them?
Campaign finance law in Virginia is simple. It’s based on openness and transparency so the voters know who is supporting each candidate. Janet should level with the voters now.
-See also: Oleszek’s Ad at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt93CN6btdQ
-Campaign Finance Reports: http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Campaign_Finance_Disclosure/Large_Contribution_Reports/View_Large_Pre_Election_Contributions_Report.asp
Emails below between Chris Pipler (VA-SBE) & Sen. Ken Cuccinelli
Additional information regarding possible violations of law in the disclaimer of the ad Ms. Oleszek is currently running on network TV:
From: Piper, Chris (SBE)
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 7:10 PM
To: Ken Cuccinelli II, Esq.
Subject: RE: Question
§ 24.2-957.1(2) states, “If the advertisement sponsored by the candidate or the candidate campaign committee makes reference to another clearly identified candidate, it must include a disclosure statement spoken by the sponsoring candidate containing at least the following words: "I am ............ (or 'This is ............—Name of candidate], candidate for —Name of] office, and I (or 'my campaign') sponsored this ad."”
In a situation where the candidate sponsoring the ad makes reference to another candidate, then the candidate must state at least the information contained in the section above. § 24.2-955.3 subsection D states, “It shall not be deemed a violation of this chapter if the contents of the disclosure legend or statement convey the required information.”
In other words, the statement does not have to flow exactly as stated in § 24.2-957.1(2) as long as all of the information is conveyed by the candidate. Further, the statement can come at any point during the ad, as long as it is spoken by the candidate and a full-screen shot of the candidate is appearing while the statement is being made (see #3 in § 24.2-957.1).
I hope I have answered your question.
Manager, Campaign Finance Division
State Board of Elections
200 N. 9th St., Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23219
Direct Line: (804) 864-8920
Fax: (804) 786-1364
From: Ken Cuccinelli II, Esq.
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 6:56 PM
To: Piper, Chris (SBE)
Do Virginia campaign finance laws require a candidate to identify the office that he/she is running for in their T.V. ads as part of the disclaimer (in this case ads that mention/attack his/her opponent)?
I would appreciate hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.
Below is some more from the FCRC Chairman in relation to the above. As of yet, the TV stations haven't pulled Oleszek's illegal (not to mention dishonest) ads. Please call (202-885-4968) or email NBC4 and encourage them to do the right thing and demand Oleszek's ads comply with Virginia law before airing them.
October 31, 2007
President & General Manager
I am the Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee. I have been informed by that your station is airing an advertisement purchased by Janet Oleszek’s campaign for State Senate, the Democratic Party nominee in the 37th State Senate District.
Our Committee is very troubled by this ad because it is blatantly misleading and also fails to comply with Virginia state law. We would, therefore, request, that you not air this advertisement until such time as Ms. Oleszek’s campaign is in compliance.
First, the advertisement is intentionally false and misleading, particularly regarding Senator Cuccinelli’s support for stem cell research. There has been only one piece of legislation addressing stem cell research in the Virginia State Senate during the five years Senator Cuccinelli has been serving the 37th district. That bill was SB 1194 in 2005, and contrary to the claim in the advertisement as follows: “Cuccinelli led the fight to stop stem cell research,” Senator Cuccinelli actually voted for the bill. We know that you station would not want to run advertising that is false and misleading, so we would ask you to determine on what basis Ms. Oleszek is making this claim.
Second, the advertisement clearly violates Virginia election law. Specifically, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections, Va. Code § 24.2-957.1(2) states (emphasis is my own):
“If the advertisement sponsored by the candidate or the candidate campaign committee makes reference to another clearly identified candidate, it must include a disclosure statement spoken by the sponsoring candidate containing at least the following words: ‘I am …………… (or ‘This is …………’ -- Name of candidate), candidate for – Name of office, and I (or ‘my campaign’) sponsored this ad.’”
The disclosure statement spoken by Janet Oleszek in her ad reads as follows: “I'm Janet Oleszek and I approve this message.”
The foregoing disclosure statement fails to comply with Virginia election law for two clear reasons: (1) there is no mention of the office Janet Oleszek is seeking, i.e., ‘Virginia State Senate’ or ‘37th Senate District;’ and (2) Ms. Oleszek failed to properly state that she sponsored the ad, instead she said that she “approved” the message. That leaves open the question of who paid for the advertisement, i.e., who or what entity actually sponsored the ad. Knowing who is actually paying for such advertisements is the very reason that Va. Code § 24.2-957.1 exists.
Because this advertisement is false and misleading, and because it is in violation of Virginia State law, we respectfully request that your station not air such advertising. I would appreciate a response as soon as possible regarding whether or not the advertisement will be removed from your ad cycle pending correction.
Furthermore, in order for our Party to formulate an accurate response, we would request that you inform us as to the when these ads will be airing on your station.
If you have any questions, or if I can be of further assistance, I can be reached at [REDACTED]. Thank you for your anticipated understanding and cooperation.
James Hyland, Esq.
Fairfax County Republican Committee
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