State Treasurer Dennis Milligan filed a batch of amended campaign contribution and expenditure reports late last week for his general election run for the office.
Among others, the reports omit Mike Huckabee’s name as an honorary chairman and drop Rick Meyer as campaign treasurer, according to a Milligan foe who’s been busily circulating news about problems in the treasurer’s office. Huckabee is running for president and doesn’t need the association with this controversy, presumably. Milligan has fallen out with Meyer, once one of his top supporters. Internal e-mail from Milligan Chief of Staff Jim Harris has shown that it was believed Meyer was trying to exercise too much influence over the treasurer’s office. See comments in this link.
The reports appear to attempt address the earlier disclosure that payment to a campaign consultant included money sent to the consultant to pass along to Jason Brady, who did social media work for the campaign while an employee of the American Cancer Society. E-mail has shown Brady worked independently, but he wanted the pass-through used to keep his name out of campaign reports.
Brady is now a top official in Milligan’s office. The last amended report, for example, has scratched out the original payment to Your Ad Team Consultant and broken it down into separate amounts to YAT and to an unnamed “subcontractor” of social media.
The changes might reflect an Ethics Commission review of Milligan’s reports. There’s a rich touch of irony in all this. Among the “ethics reform” measures Sen. Jon Woods got the legislature to approve this year was an effective get-out-of-jail-free card for ethics violations. Under his legislation, candidates now have time after problems with their campaign reports are cited to make corrections and may be held harmless from ethical sanctions. It’s a free pass for fudging. The irony is that Woods was among the Republicans who backed Duncan Baird’s losing primary race for treasurer against Milligan. It became heated when Milligan tried to extort Baird out of the race by making something of a late-night visit to the Capitol made by Baird and other Republican legislators that was recorded on secretary of state security cameras and put into public distribution by MIlligan’s campaign team.
I couldn’t help but notice that Michael Morton, the nursing home magnate, weighed in with $2,000 for Milligan after he’d won the election.