Maryland: Wynn Hits Edwards With FEC Complaint

Posted January 29, 2008 at 6:41pm

In the bitter Democratic primary battle in the 4th district, Rep. Albert Wynn’s campaign on Tuesday filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against lawyer and community activist Donna Edwards.

In the complaint, filed by Wynn’s campaign spokeswoman, Wynn’s camp alleges that Edwards has received “substantial assistance by way of unreported, in-kind contributions” from organizations that illegally have been coordinating their efforts with the candidate.

The 134-page complaint lays out a complicated trail of 527 group donors — several of which are based out of the same office space in New Orleans — and asks the FEC to investigate whether they coordinated their efforts with the Edwards campaign committee and with the Washington, D.C.-based ARCA Foundation, where Edwards served as executive director before taking a leave of absence to run against Wynn.

While Wynn acknowledged in a conference call Tuesday that many of the allegations are not new and that it would be highly unlikely that the FEC could investigate and resolve the complaint before the Feb. 12 primary, the Congressman said that he at least wanted to make the public aware of the campaign contribution “shell game” that has been the result of the “cross pollination” of the boards of directors of several liberal 527 organizations.

“There seems to be a vast, dare I say left-wing conspiracy designed to circumvent campaign finance laws,” Wynn said. “Within this scheme her supporters are coordinating efforts to exceed fundraising limits and engaging in illegal campaign activities.”

In a statement, Edwards replied Tuesday that Wynn’s FEC filing is merely “a desperate 11th hour attempt by the Congressman to deflect from the fact that groups representing the core of the Democratic Party and the issues it stands for — workers’ rights, affordable housing, protecting women’s right to choose, the environment — have decided that they want to fire him and are supporting me because they know I stand with them and always have.”
— John McArdle