Dueling press releases in the order in which they were received.
The Diane Black for Congress Campaign today called on Lou Ann Zelenik to disavow the false negative attacks being run by shadowy groups coordinating with her campaign and run an honest and ethical campaign. The group Citizens 4 Ethics in Government that is spending over $100,000 on false ads attacking Black was formed and is solely financed by Andy Miller, Zelenik's Campaign Finance Chairman, and is in violation of at least one federal campaign finance law.
"Lou Ann Zelenik needs to cease and desist with the false and illegal campaign activities. We are calling on Lou Ann Zelenik to disavow the lies being spewed by a shadowy group her campaign is coordinating with and demand the ads be taken down. Not only is this behavior dishonest, it is illegal," said Black spokesman Jennifer Baker. "The shadowy group attacking Diane Black with a barrage of false claims on TV is being financed and run by Lou Ann Zelenik's campaign finance chairman and is in violation of the law. One would hope that if Lou Ann Zelenik is running to make federal laws in Congress she would follow federal laws in her campaign."
The shadowy independent group called Citizens 4 Ethics in Government is running over a hundred thousands of dollars in false ads against Diane Black and is violating at least one federal law by failing to disclose its campaigns expenditures as required by the Federal Election Commission. (Specific FEC law cited below). The group also appears to be in violation of the coordination laws surrounding these secret groups. Andy Miller, Zelenik's Campaign Finance Chairman, is the only donor to Citizens 4 Ethics in Government and filings show that he has given over $100,000 to the group. The group was formed recently to influence this race specifically. In addition to the group being formed, financed and run by Miller, the Zelenik campaign is telling supporters they are coordinating to "take out" Diane Black and keep Lou Ann's hands clean.
"Lou Ann Zelenik will stop at nothing in her crazy vendetta against Diane Black and that includes telling vicious lies in coordination with a shadow group that is violating federal election law," said Baker. "Our Country is in peril. We have a national debt that exceeds $16 trillion dollars and the citizens of the 6th Congressional District need an honest Congressman representing them who won't put her own personal vendetta above the law or fixing our Country's serious problems."
Zelenik who resides in the 4th Congressional District, has rented an apartment in the 6th District for the purpose of running against Diane Black to satisfy her own personal vendetta. In her last losing campaign against Black, Zelenik ran one of the dirtiest campaigns in Tennessee history. The attacks Zelenik launched on Black were so false that Zelenik's advertising team settled out of court; paying a monetary settlement and admitting that the negative attack ads they produced for Lou Ann Zelenick had no factual basis and they had no knowledge of any unethical behavior. (Settlement document attached to email) Now she is at it again, coordinating with shadowy groups that are violating the law and running hundreds of thousands of dollars in false attacks on Diane Black.
FEC LAW: http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/indexp.shtml, Scroll down to 24-Hour Reports
Once an individual's or political committee's aggregate independent expenditures reach or exceed $1,000 with respect to a given election, and are made fewer than 20 days, but more than 24 hours, before an election, the independent expenditure must be reported to, and received by, the FEC within 24 hours of the time the communication is publicly distributed or otherwise publicly disseminated. These reports must include all independent expenditures with respect to that election that have not been previously disclosed. 11 CFR 104.4(c), (e)(2)(ii) and (f); 109.10(d).
Failure to file the 24 hour report or the 48 hour report is against the law. Citizens 4 Ethicsin Government has failed to file their expenditures. The attached excel sheets shows that they have made over $120k in expenditures that we know of beginning on 6/29 and still have not filed as of July 20th according to the FEC.
Check of FEC database shows failure to file proper disclosure: http://www.fec.gov/finance/disclosure/ie_reports.shtml
Committee ID: C00524082
CITIZENS 4 ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT
4117 HILLSBORO PIKE SUITE 300-315
NASHVILLE, TN 37215
Treasurer Name: MICHAEL LEISEY
Committee Designation: (UNAUTHORIZED)
Committee Type: INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE-ONLY COMMITTEE
BACKGROUND ON CITIZENS 4 ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT
Address: 4117 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 103-315, Nashville, TN 37215. ("Contact Us,"Citizens for Ethics in Government Web site, accessed 7/20/2012)
This address is the same as a UPS Store location in Nashville. ("The UPS Store #2863,"UPS Store Web site, accessed 7/20/2012)
Michael Leisey is listed as the treasurer for the committee. (Citizens 4 Ethics in Government, Committee ID: C00524082,FEC Web site, accessed 7/20/2012)
Leisey donated $500 to Scott Desjarlais' campaign in March 2012. (Friends of Scott DesJarlais, April Quarterly report, Federal Election Commission, filed 4/13/2012)
The committee's only donor so far is Andrew Miller of Nashville. He donated $95,000 on July 2, 2012. Miller is listed in the committee's FEC report as the CEO of Healthmark Ventures. (Citizens 4 Ethics in Government, Committee ID: C00524082, Pre-Primary report, Schedule A Receipts,Federal Election Commission, filed 7/20/2012)
Miller donated to Lou Ann Zelenik's 2010 campaign. (Search for Andrew Miller in Tennessee, Advanced Transaction Query By Individual Contributor, FEC Web site, accessed 7/20/2012; Lou Ann for Congress, July Quarterly report,Federal Election Commission, filed 6/27/2011)
Miller is a finance chairman for the Lou Ann Zelenik for Congress Campaign. https://twitter.com/louannzelenik/statuses/200304224565866496
Click here for a document detailing the spending of Citizens 4 Ethics in Government.
And from Zelenik:
The Diane Black’s Campaign becomes more desperate after reports of falling poll numbers and lack of any grassroots support. Their candidate has become increasingly shrill in campaign appearances. It seems Diane Black’s campaign has come unhinged. The latest stop in Diane Black’s journey into the political gutter comes in the form of a slew of false and misleading attack ads smearing Sixth District Congressional Candidate Lou Ann Zelenik.
Zelenik Campaign Manager Jay Heine noted today “that Diane Black’s campaign is routinely wrong, dishonest or both about Lou Ann, her positions and her campaign. We are confident the voters of Tennessee will understand a desperate politician will say or do anything to hold on to power. If Diane Black can’t be honest about these basic facts, how can we trust any claim she makes?”
“Congresswoman Black has been misleading Republicans in agitated comments at campaign events about her record of voting to increasing the debt (S.365), funding Obamacare (HR 1, HJ Res. 48, HR 1473, S.365, HR 2608, HR 2055), slashing defense spending (S.365), increasing taxes on our mortgages (HR 3630 Dec 20th 2011) and funding Planned Parenthood (HR 1, S.365) – all votes on the record and all votes Diane Black is ashamed to own up to. Now, her campaign is spreading misinformation about Lou Ann Zelenik’s record and background.” Heine concludes “we’ve seen this before and it is wearing thin on voters.”
Lou Ann Zelenik’s campaign will not jump into Diane Black’s mud puddle. Lou Ann will continue to offer the voters a positive alternative based on the issues and her conservative principles. We will conduct our campaign in a manner that honors the people Lou Ann wishes to serve.
Anyone interested in her campaign can stop by the headquarters at 1253 N. Mt. Juliet Rd, Mount Juliet TN, 37122 or call (615) 758-9040.
For more information on Lou Ann Zelenik please check out www.VoteLouAnn.com
And the legal documents showing that the advertising firm that produced Lou Ann Zelenik's negative attack ads against Diane Black in the 20010 election had to settle out of court paying a monetary settlement and admitted that to their knowledge the ads were false.