By John L. Micek | firstname.lastname@example.org
on July 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
So this should make the next union fund-raiser kind of awkward — Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office is investigating an allegedly illegally campaign contribution that Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers made to now Reading Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer in 2011.
More astute readers will recall that Local 98 of the IBEW is run by John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty, whose king-making moves and jockeying for power in Philly city politics would make a dweller of the fictional Westeros blush.
Citing a report by WFMZ-TV in Allentown, PhillyMag notes that Kane, a Democrat, is picking on a report filed last November by the Berks County Board of Elections.
At issue, according to PhillyMag, are a pair of $10k donations made by Spencer’s campaign committee to the electoral coffers of current Philly City Councilman Bill Green and Bill Rubin, who were then trying to unseat Councilman Brian O’Neill.
PhillyMag reports that, according to campaign finance documents filed by all three candidates, the donations to Green and Rubin were made the same day Friends of Vaughn Spencer received a $30,000 donation from IBEW.
That piqued the interest of Berks County’s elections board, which could not help but notice that IBEW Local 98 had “not previously contributed to the Spencer campaign, which itself had not previously contributed to the campaigns of Green or Rubin,” PhillyMag reports.
WFMZ-TV reported that “… the $30,000 was given to Spencer to enable the union to funnel additional contributions to Rubin and Green, in violation of the Philadelphia Ethics Act. Spencer’s then-campaign manager, Michael Fleck of Allentown-based Fleck Consulting, released a statement in November, saying, “We follow all campaign finance laws, we believe. And, we ran an effective campaign for the mayor.”
Referring to a statement he made last November, Dougherty told the station that the donations were legal and he said two of the election board commissioners were “tea party members ‘chasing an African American mayor.”