NASHVILLE — Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester issued a statement in support of state Senator Roy Herron’s lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission filed last Friday.
In a recent investigation, six FEC commissioners unanimously agreed U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher had broken the law in reporting a 0,000 loan used during his political campaign. However, three Republican commissioners successfully voted to block the FEC from punishing Fincher — despite the FEC counsel’s recommendation to hold Fincher accountable for his violations.
That essentially gave Fincher a “get out of jail free” card, Forrester said.
“It is wrong to find Mr. Stephen Fincher guilty of breaking the law, and then refuse to hold him accountable. Our elections must have integrity, and if Washington politicians like Stephen Fincher won’t follow the law and are not held accountable by the FEC, we are glad a statesman like Roy Herron is willing to take on the corruption.”
The FEC has 60 days to respond to the lawsuit.
“A year ago, Mr. Fincher lied when he told everyone who would listen that the FEC approved the shady 0,000 bank loan he used to finance his political campaign,” Forrester said. “Since then we have learned the truth. The FEC has found him guilty of breaking the law, but due to Washington politics, won’t hold him accountable.
“Mr. Fincher has adamantly refused to admit any wrongdoing and has clearly failed the most critical tests of leadership: telling the truth and leading by example,” Forrester said. “Mr. Fincher and Washington, D.C. politicians sadly appear to share a common goal in their willful disregard for accountability.
“Handing out ‘get out of jail free’ cards to Washington, D.C. politicians who break the law is not justice. Tennesseans deserve better, and if Roy Herron has to take on the entire Federal Election Commission to make Washington work for Tennesseans again, we will support him all the way.”
BACKGROUND: LIES FINCHER TOLD ABOUT THE LOAN TO MEDIA LAST YEAR
Decision 2010: FEC investigating 0K bank loan made to Fincher
WMC TV, October 21 http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13367582#
Fincher: “The FEC said it’s OK. The bank said it’s OK. The bank’s lawyer said it’s OK, and I say it’s OK. It’s a legal loan.”
Fincher refuses to release tax returns: Republican blasts ‘witch hunt’; Herron spokesman says ‘sketchy finances are legitimate issue
The Jackson Sun, October 1
Stephen Fincher said Thursday he will not release his tax returns, saying he has not done anything illegal and the allegations his Democratic opponent Roy Herron has made against him are a “witch hunt.” …
Fincher said the bank, the bank’s attorney, and the FEC have all cleared the loan…
Speaking in an interview after his address in Martin, Fincher said the loan is legitimate in every sense.
Biggest controversy in the 8th District race, a loan taken out by Republican Fincher
WKNO, NPR Memphis, October 22
When questioned directly about the loan at a public forum at Union University Fincher said, “The FEC said the loan is okay.” The FEC hasn’t explicitly okayed the loan. Fincher also restated his refusal to disclose the terms of the loan, or his tax returns…
This week the FEC responded. The Commercial Appeal reported Wednesday that the Gates Bank and Trust and Fincher’s campaign treasurer had received letters from the FEC, but it is unclear when more action may happen.
Ciaramitaro said Fincher’s campaign might not respond to all the FEC’s requests until after the election.
Rulings needed on Fincher finances
Editorial – The Jackson Sun, October 19
Fincher has said he filled out the forms in good faith. “Nothing has been done that is unethical or intentionally inaccurate,” he said in an interview last month. Read those comments carefully. Fincher leaves the door wide open to the forms being wrong.
After he spoke, his handlers quickly added that any mistakes on the forms would be corrected after the campaign. That’s not soon enough. If Fincher made a mistake, he should admit it now. The people he seeks to represent deserve no less.