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Shade accuses Kim of filing misleading finance report

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by Austin Monitor

Place 3 City Council candidate Randi Shade is calling on opponent Council Member Jennifer Kim to re-file her recent campaign finance report and to disclose campaign expenditures in full. Shade issued the challenge in a news release handed out at yesterday’s public safety endorsement news conference.


Kim’s political expenditures, as of Dec. 31, 2007 were divided into three entries on her campaign finance form. Those expenses totaled $12,765. Two of those expenditures to Ignite Consulting – one on Nov. 20 for $3,865 and one on Nov. 28 for $6,089 – were designated as “consulting fees, ad printing and data/voter lists.”


A third expenditure to Total Fund-raising Strategies, for $2,500, was dated Nov. 19 and designated as “consulting fees.”


Texas Ethics Commission standards allow candidates to report expenditures in the aggregate only if the candidate has no involvement in deciding how the funds were spent.


“Unless Jennifer Kim had no involvement in deciding how to conduct her own campaign, she is hiding information that Texas law says the public deserves to know,” Shade said. “I reported four times the number of individual expenditures that Jennifer Kim did, but the Kim campaign spent four times as much as our campaign did. Obviously, something’s wrong.”


Shade said that Kim’s finance report also omits information about expenditures during the reporting period, such as a November advertisement in the Austin Chronicle and expenses associated with a December campaign kick-off event at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q.


“I hope that Jennifer Kim didn’t purposefully hide or fail to report expenses in order to present her campaign as being in a stronger position financially than it really is,” Shade said in her news release, “but I think it’s difficult for people not to come to that conclusion when these omissions are so glaring.”


Asked to address the omissions and failure to list separately the expenditures on her report, Kim said she had just received the letter and that the issues raised by Shade would be addressed when she met with her campaign team at a scheduled meeting on Tuesday afternoon.


Regarding the missing expenditures, Kim said she had left her credit card with Stubb’s but did not receive an invoice for the kick-off event before Dec. 31. She didn’t have an answer for the November advertisement, saying she intended to address that question to her campaign staff.


Last night, Kim’s consultant Elliott McFadden said the campaign would be filing an amendment to the Jan. 15 financial report to itemize the expenses.


Campaign manager Paige Hill told In Fact Daily last night that Kim’s campaign team had talked about the issues at length. Stubb’s had yet to send the campaign a full bill, but the campaign team called to find out the cost of Kim’s event. Hill confirmed the amount of the bill would be $900.


“We decided it was kind of a penny ante complaint,” Hill said, although she added that the campaign would file an amendment on Wednesday to disclose various expenditures.

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