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Thursday, January 18, 2018
FEC Complaint Filed Against Chin Campaign Manager
By News Release @ 10:05 PM :: 6451 Views :: Ethics, Congressional Delegation, Politicians

Complaint: Campaign Staffer Illegally Using Late Congressman’s Leftover Campaign Funds to Pay Himself a Large Salary, Nearly 18 Months After Congressman Leaves Office

News Release from Campaign Legal Center, January 18, 2018 

WASHINGTON - Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the treasurer of former Congressman Mark Takai’s (HI-01) campaign committee, Dylan Beesley, has illegally converted the late Congressman’s leftover campaign funds to personal use. 

Since Takai’s death on July 20, 2016, Beesley has used Takai’s campaign account to pay himself more than $100,000, despite apparently doing little to wind-down the campaign or direct the leftover funds to charity or other candidates. In 2017, Beesley used Takai’s campaign committee to pay his consulting firm $74,869, which is 88.4 percent of the $84,662 the committee spent on operating expenditures over the calendar year.

“Donors gave to Takai’s campaign to support his run for office, not so his treasurer can pocket the cash,” said Brendan Fischer, director, federal and FEC reform at CLC. “It is not clear how Beesley can justify paying himself nearly $6,000 per month to manage a campaign that no longer exists.”

After a Member of Congress leaves office, their campaign committee may legally donate leftover funds to charity, transfer funds to their party, make contributions to other candidates, or pay for the costs of winding-down their campaign or closing their office, which FEC regulations anticipate should take about six months. Yet nearly eighteen months after Takai’s passing, his campaign committee appears to be doing little else besides providing Beesley a source of income.

The FEC is the only government agency dedicated to overseeing the integrity of our political campaigns. With the 2018 midterm election approaching, it is more important than ever that the FEC enforce the law so candidates and their staffers do not feel free to commit similar violations. If we had a strong FEC, we would not be seeing the personal use of campaign funds go unpunished. The FEC’s failure to resolve past complaints of this nature of have led to abuses of the system.

###

LINK: Full text of complaint

SA: Beesley drags Chin into fray

SA: The family of the late congressman, meanwhile, defended Beesley’s actions for the first time today

CB: Takai’s family issued a statement from his father-in-law, Gary Kai, that said in part:

Dylan Beesley supported Mark’s campaign before Mark’s passing and, at our request, has stayed on as campaign treasurer to help manage the campaigns affairs.

He has worked to help us to focus on the next steps so that we could close the campaign down and create a foundation in Mark’s name and use it for good causes here in Hawaii. Payments to him during this period were authorized.

We regret that we have been slow to move on this and we appreciate the community’s patience as we work through this process. We hope that people understand that our focus has been on keeping our family strong and helping them to move ahead with their lives.

We have created the Mark Takai Foundation and will be moving forward to support the Military and Education causes that Mark championed throughout his career.

We want to express our gratitude to Dylan for his help and support.

 

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