Jim Nielsen’s Wikipedia Page used to reference that he lost re-election to Mike Thompson for State Senate in 1990 due to a scandal surrounding payments to his then wife out of his campaign account.
About a year ago, one of Nielsen’s staffers went in to Wikipedia and changed the page to read that Nielsen lost due to the changing demographics of the district.
However, your intrepid blogger has located the goods on Mr. Nielsen’s past conduct courtesy of two Sacramento Bee articles written by Dan Walters.
It was common practice in the 1980’s for candidates to use campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. In 1986, the Bee started hammering on the issue.
They ripped then Senate Dem leader Barry Keene – but also made mention that Jim Nielsen paid his then wife $75,000 for “Consulting Expenses”.
In addition, once called on those payments, Jim Nielsen was forced to amend his reports – where he admitted that he was receiving personal income from his campaign coffers. This was always considered unethical – but now is a clear violation of state law.
In 1990 – the Bee hit the issue again. This time, Jim Nielsen was in the fight for his political life. Mike Thompson was hammering Nielsen for ethics violations and the like and this issue of paying his wife was at the forefront.
“Republican Sen Jim Nielsen paid his second wife out of campaign funds, ostensibly for organizational work, almost precisely the same abont he was paying his first wife for spousal support. Wife No. 2 is now history (Nielsen married wife No. 3 last year) and presumably her services are no longer needed in the political realm either.”
So, here you go – the Bee makes the connection that Jim Nielsen’s campaign account was basically a slush fund that Nielsen paid spousal support out of amongst other things.
Jim Nielsen was narrowly defeated by Mike Thompson in 1990. Thompson later went to Congress and has distinguished himself is a hero of the far-left. (He went to Baghdad in the run up to Gulf War 2 for example) Mike Thompson’s political career basically was launched by Jim Nielsen.
P.S. Please note that Jim Nielsen is currently under legitimate FPPC investigation for Campaign Finance Violations and prevailing wisdom is that he will indeed get fined for circumventing campaign finance laws as he was attempting to finance Bob Williams against Dan Logue for Ad-03.
It is alleged that Nielsen contributed $32,000 to the Tehama County Republican Central Committee which was then passed on to assembly candidate Bob Williams. Nielsen, who supported Williams in the primary, had already contributed $3,900, the maximum allowed by campaign finance rules
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.
22 Years later, Jim Nielsen is still doing the same stuff.