Recently I reported on the strong fundraising numbers posted by the Lampson for Congress campaign in TX-14. He had 8 times as much cash on hand as his opponent but now its revealed that the Republican Candidate Randy Weber took more than the legal limit from a handful of contributors. Sometimes these things can happen due to complex finance laws, but its up to the candidate's campaign to do the right thing and pledge to immediately return the excess funds. Instead Weber's campaign issued the following statement:
Nick Lampson doesn't want to talk about his record of voting with Nancy Pelosi 80% of the time and taking over $50,000 in contributions from her so he's going to start making crazy accusations about Randy. It's the old dodge and distraction strategy of a crumbling campaign. Here's the facts so we are clear: According to FEC and the proper compliance procedures, we sent out reattribution letters so that contributions could be attributed to spouses or returned if necessary. There is a 60 day window for this process. That window is still open. However, this (and November 6th, when voters say no to Nick a third time) should close this chapter on Lampson's loony lies and distortions.
First off, the Republican's campaign did not exactly deny taking excess funds, but did allude to waiting until after the election to fix the problem. This points to a broader issue of support. Lampson's campaign has reported over 2,000 individual contributors all who either could not afford to donate the maximum amount or who just managed to followed the rules. Weber may have done better trying to broaden his campaign appeal early on, but after completely dismissing moderates, wealthy donors may be his only chance to compete this late in the game. Secondly, referring to “crazy accusations” and “loony lies” is not the hallmark of a professional campaign. Thirdly, what does Lampson's Congressional voting record have to do with Randy Weber's campaign taking more than the legal limit? The answer is nothing, but ironically it does point to a “crumbling campaign”, only its not Lampson's. The contest for the Texas 14th Congressional district is garnering national attention because it was drawn to be a slam dunk for Republicans. The race could even have larger implications forcing national Republicans to divert precious resources to protecting “their” seat. Neither the party or their candidate Randy Weber expected to be in this position just days before voting starts, but as Capitol HIll's major publication Roll Call puts it “candidates matter”.