by Javier ManjarresDemocrats in Florida as well as the Democratic National Committee have made it abundantly clear that Florida Congressman Allen West is one of their “high value targets” whom they will try and oust from Congress in 2012. Thus far, two Democrats have declared their candidacies to challenge West- former Mayor of West Palm Beach Lois Frankel, and businessman Patrick Murphy have filed their papers for the nomination.
But now there’s a potentially big fly in the ointment for Frankel. A formal FEC complaint has been filed against her campaign alleging that Frankel registered a non-profit, Lois Frankel for Congress, Inc., (according to the Florida Department of State on March 11, 2011, retroactive to March 10th, 2012) but her campaign did not report the filing fees that would have been charged either by the registered agent (who would be authorized to make the filing on her behalf) or the fees that would have been charged directly by the State of Florida to her campaign.
Lois Frankel is the campaign’s Treasurer and is personally listed in the complaint. Her campaign identifies Corporate Creations Network, Inc. as the registered agent for her Congressional campaign but fails to document any disbursement or liability for the creation of her Congressional campaign’s corporation. A fee would have been required in order for her campaign to be listed as a non-profit or for profit corporation.
Adding to Frankel’s woes, The Palm Beach Post reported that Frankel sent out a fundraising mailer to constituents asking to help her raise $100k by the end first quarter filing date:
Departing West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel says in a fund-raising letter that it’s “critically important” that she snag $100,000 in contributions for her just-launched Democratic congressional campaign by Thursday, which is the Federal Election Commission’s reporting deadline for the first quarter of 2011.
Frankel, who signed her candidate papers March 14 and announced her candidacy March 21, is a savvy politician who’s been running campaigns and playing the expectations game for 25 years. So we’re guessing she wouldn’t publicize the $100,000 target unless she’s sure she’ll exceed it. -George Bennett, Palm Beach Post
This particular mailing- the production costs, its associated postage, as well as the mailing list itself are also not reported in her most recent filing. If this particular mailing list was either purchased or brought over from her prior campaigns, it would have to be reported either as an expense or an in-kind donation.
Additionally, the FEC complaint lists several other omissions by the Lois Frankel Campaign, including charges for the following:
– domain name and the web hosting costs for the Frankel for Congress Committee– consultant charges for the campaign’s hiring of Brian Smoot as a consultant to the campaign
– charges for the Frankel for Congress Committee’s P.O. Box
It remains to be seen how the Frankel Campaign will respond to the specific issues raised in this complaint.