Blue Hog Report raises questions today about the eligibility of Alex Reed, who works for Secretary of State Mark Martin, to serve as the Republican Party representative on the Pulaski County Election Commission.
Blue Hog notes the following from state law:
(1) A person who is a paid employee of a political party or of a candidate for office on that county’s ballot shall not be a member of a county board or an election official.
(2) (A) Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2)(B) of this section, a person serving on the county board shall not participate in the campaign of a candidate listed on that county’s ballot or of a write-in candidate seeking election in that county.
(B) A member of the county board may make a financial contribution to a candidate.
No, he’s not raising the point that Reed is an employee of Mark Martin, who oversees election and who is on the ballot in Pulaski County and the rest of the state this year.
He’s raising the point that Reed is listed as campaign treasurer for Republican 2nd District congressional candidate Ann Clemmer. She is on the Pulaski County ballot. Her campaign report notes disbursements to Reed as well as a loan of $20,007.83 FROM Reed to the campaign. Payments are irrelevant, Blue Hog’s Matt Campbell writes. It’s participation, paid or unpaid, that he believes is problematic.
I’m seeking a comment from Reed.
Blue Hog reminds readers that Reed’s boss, Mark Martin, made a campaign pledge in 2010 that his office would stay out of politics and that he’d prohibit employees from publicly endorsing or opposing or actively work for or against a candidate for public office.
UPDATE: Alex Reed tells me that he’s submitted his resignation from the commission effectively immediately. He’d been appointed by the Republican County Committee on an interim basis after Phil Wyrick was forced to step down because of his candidacy for county judge. Reed declined to get into the specifics of what Blue Hog reported. He said, however, that he no longer had a position in Clemmer’s campaign.
UPDATE II: I have sent questions to Ann Clemmer about timing on Reed’s departure from the campaign and about the reported loan and unitemized expenditures. I wasn’t aware campaigns could accept personal loans, except from themselves.
UPDATE III: Late Friday, the Clemmer campaign announced:
During the preparation of our latest FEC report, we discovered that there were unauthorized disbursements. We took immediate corrective action, engaging counsel to help us take the proper steps and immediately removed our volunteer treasurer from the bank account. All funds have been returned and we are currently in the process of filing the necessary paperwork with the FEC to name a new campaign treasurer. The individual who made the unauthorized disbursements is no longer affiliated with the campaign committee. I want to take full responsibility for the issues on our latest FEC report.
In the first quarter of 2014, the campaign reported 23 “unauthorized disbursements” to Reed totaling $9,524.21. It also lists a $20,007.83 loan by Reed as repayment of unauthorized disbursements. Neither has provided more clarification, but Reed has said he resigned from the campaign role before the took the election commission post. Clemmer has not responded to my questions about whether the campaign has received a letter of inquiry from the Federal Election Commission about the curious transactions.