When Bookies Start Taking Odds, Maybe We'll Have
Campaign Expense Reports On Time?
While state codes mandate that political candidates complete political campaign expense reports
prior to taking office, there does not appear to be additional codes that require that expense
reports be complete or even accurate.
Of the four candidates for Fayette County Commissioner, Republican challenger Dave Lohr has the
most experience completing campaign expense reports. While he has not ever won an election to
date and has not held a county office, he has run four county elections and, subsequently,
completed 15 campaign expense reports, with his 16th report due by 31Jan12.
Incumbent Fayette County Commission Chairman Vince Zapotosky, last month winning his second
term in office, recently completed what should have been his seventh campaign expense report,
with his eighth report due by 31Jan12.
Experience should make these reports easier to complete, and -- one would think -- easier to
complete on time by state deadlines.
Neither Lohr nor Zapotosky completed their last two reports on time that were due on 8Dec11 or
30 days after the election and the previous report, known as the "Second Friday Pro-Election"
report covering the period ending 15 days prior to election.
Copies of both men's reports due 8Dec11 show that both filed one day late. It was so easy to
empathize with Zapotosky for filing late in 2007, when he was caring for a new child on an icy,
winter day. But given the fact that he won the general election last month, and has not been part of
the vote challenges or election bureau meetings that have happened since the polls closed, he
should have had ample time to complete his reports on time.
No, not just on time, but completely and accurately as well.
Zapotosky's failure to report campaign expenses on the late report that he filed 9Dec11 is
ridiculous. His statement in an attached handwritten explanation that "Expenditures will be
provided via amendment of report, awaiting bank statement and copies of checks issued during this
period" just does not cut it. He has no expenses to list from a reporting period that began
25Oct11? O, please!
How scary is it that a sitting commissioner seems to have something in common with an old college
friend, who tracks no receipts, keeps no checkbook ledger, tosses ATM receipts, never reconciles
a checkbook and consults with online banking only after hardcopy bank overdraft notices arrive in
her mail and sets her off in a tizzy?
How unacceptable is it, too, that the incumbent also left blank the reporting periods on pages 2-7
of his campaign expense reports? We already got used to the shock that he spent over $30K
before the November election, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was not trying to
hide a disclosure of his expenses from voters to avoid controversy. Nobody has ever been recalled
from office over legitimate campaign expenses, after all.
As for Lohr, there is no excuse that his expense report filed 9Dec11 lists incorrect reporting
dates -- or at least conflicting reporting dates on pages 2-7 of 8Nov-28Nov11, versus his
25Oct-28Nov11 date on the front cover page of the report. He does have the most experience
completing election campaign reports, as previously stated, and the user-friendly directions that
accompany report forms clearly state that the second report period closes 15 days prior to the
Lohr's mistakes on pages 2-7, probably made in haste, trying to complete the late report without
thinking, leave the impression that there could be a gap or period of expenses that he is not
reporting. While we're certainly not accusing him of any wrong doing, we urge him to take his time
and put more thought into preparation of his final or 16th report next month. He is also urged not
to write over mistakes, as he did on page 2, when he first wrote the number ten and changed it to
eleven -- or at least that's what we think he did. See what we mean?
We urge Zapotosky, too, to see his friendly bank staff to get copies of his statement or cancelled
checks that he is waiting for to complete an amended report. We also welcome him to show us
documentation that it is OK with the state to complete amended reports, and remind him that
sometimes it can be months before someone actually deposits or cashes a check we give them.
We also recommend that both Lohr and Zapotosky obtain copies of reports that candidate Al
Ambrosini and incumbent Angela Zimmerlink filed so that they can see examples of what correctly
and thoroughly completed campaign expense reports look like... and to complete on time their final
campaign report next month, pleeeeeease, before bookies start taking odds.
Homepage Return to RANTS&RAVES FAYETTE COUNTY