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Sunday, February 14, 2010

So This Is Where the Money Went...

Apparently a decent sized portion of the money from those "cash" checks went to Senator Mellow himself. Sunday Times article link HERE.

This presents a very, very interesting situation.
  1. Legitimate - It is entirely possible that the payments were completely legitimate reimbursements to Senator Mellow for expenses he incurred personally while campaigning. For example, he could have used his own car to drive to campaign events, so he would be entitled to reimbursement for mileage.
  2. Illegitimate - It is at least worth considering the possibility that this entire situation, from the payments themselves to the obfuscation associated with providing the back-sides of the checks, was a scheme concocted to funnel illicit compensation to the Senator.
Note that I'm not arguing that either scenario is correct, but there is one troubling aspect to this, namely that if the expenses were legitimate, why then not simply make the checks out to Senator Mellow directly (instead of to "cash") and note on the check the purpose of the payment?

Pay to the order of: Robert Mellow
Memo: Campaign Travel Reimbursement

Of course the Senator and his people are steering people towards the illegitimate side of this coin by refusing to provide documents that would support these payments as being reasonable reimbursements. If the payments were legitimate expenses, then it's incumbent upon the Senator to release ALL OF THE SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS so that this entire issue can be laid to rest.

Interesting stuff. If these payments were an illicit form of compensation, then that raises a whole host of other legal issues, none the least of which involve the Internal Revenue Service.

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