Jim Nielsen has a problem. He got caught.
The same Republican leadership that allowed Charles Munger to go after Alan Mansoor with almost $700k told Jim Nielsen and David Stafford Reade to leave Dan Logue alone. They didn’t listen – they recruited a political ally to run against Logue in an effort to bleed money off of him for an expected State Senate race that would be created by the victory of Doug LaMalfa for Congress.
It seems that David Stafford Reade and crew are getting sloppy and they are getting caught, a lot, these days.
The Fair Political Practices Commission is confirming it is investigating a complaint state Rep. Dan Logue’s re-election campaign filed against his Assembly colleague,Jim Nielsen, and his fellow Republican challenger in the primary, Bob Williams.
Logue accuses both men of violating campaign finance rules during the homestretch of the June 5 primary.
His campaign is suspicious late contributions totaling $32,000 Nielsen made to the Tehama County Republican Central Committee were passed on to Williams.
Cliff Wagner, a Logue spokesman, said the elections watchdog group’s move came as no great surprise.
“There are violations that occur … and fall under oversights, mistakes,” he said. “This has the hallmark of pattern behavior, and there were several problems that resulted in money laundering.”
Charles H. Bell, a Sacramento attorney representing Nielsen, dismissed Wagner’s recent comments as mere speculations and not evidence.
“We are very confident the FPPC will conclude as it should that there was absolutely no violation of law here,” he wrote in an email Wednesday.
Williams, meanwhile, said what happened was local party leaders were still upset about the state GOP’s endorsement of Logue. The county’s central committee had endorsed Williams. The party’s bylaws forbid picking a front-runner in such cases, and its move invalidated the endorsement he received.
“What they did was not any of my doing. They did it. They were upset with the way the state committee treated them,” he said. “I didn’t ask them for their money. I didn’t coach them. This was all their doing.”
Still he said he saw nothing wrong in what the central committee did.
“They chose to spend their money to help me out. That was their choice,” he said.
Tara Stock, an FPPC spokeswoman, declined to comment Wednesday on the nature of the investigation.
She said depending on the findings, the FPPC may issue a warning or advisory letter to both men, or it could write it found no violation. It also may decide to issue fines.
Nielsen, who supported Williams in the primary, contributed $3,900, the maximum allowed by campaign finance rules, to the Tehama County supervisor. That was filed May 21.
Wagner was hopeful the state agency will not take the claims lightly.
“The bottom line is people should follow the rules. The rules are for everybody, including Mr. Nielsen and Mr. Williams,” he said.
At question, though, are the three contributions Nielsen made in the past two weeks to the central committee: $5,000 on May 21, $15,000, May 25 and $12,000, June 1.
The central committee around the same time gave Williams $12,761.77 on May 25 and $15,165 on June 3 and 5. There also was a non-monetary contribution of $3,000 on April 3 but not filed until May 31. They totaled $30,926.77.
The central committee has since amended its finance report.
It reported the $3,000 contribution, as well as one for $27,926.77, in support of Williams were nonmonetary.
Logue faces Democrat Charles Rouse in the November general election.