Thursday, October 28, 2010
By DANIELLE LYNCH
The Delaware County GOP has requested that the Federal Election Commission open an investigation into the role Democratic congressional candidate Bryan Lentz and his supporters played in helping third-party conservative candidate Jim Schneller get on the ballot.
The Republicans’ request comes after Lentz, a two-term state representative, recently admitted that his volunteers helped Schneller collect signatures. After months of refusing to comment, Lentz admitted his role after being pressed by the Daily Times’ editorial board.
Lentz and Schneller are running against Republican Pat Meehan, a former
U.S. attorney and district attorney, in the 7th Congressional District race. Delaware County
“Lentz is fond of pointing out that his efforts to place a third-party candidate to further his own political career, although perhaps unethical are not illegal,” wrote Andy Reilly, chairman of the Delaware County Republican Party, in a letter to the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. “However, it is illegal to fail to report in-kind contributions in excess of the required reporting thresholds in an attempt to conceal contribution and evade open records requirements. I believe both Lentz and Schneller campaigns failed to meet these requirements and would like the FEC to open a formal investigation into the matter.”
In particular, Reilly pointed to a $100 cash payment to Kristen Kepics, a notary who notarized several of Schneller’s petition papers.
Schneller said he paid the notary and argued that he reported it to the commission in a lump sum. He also described the
’ complaint as “baseless,” and he said the candidates should instead focus on issues facing voters. county Republicans
Kevin McTigue, campaign manager for Lentz, said that they did not pay the notary the $100. “I don’t know who made the payment, no paid Lentz staff was present at the ‘notary party,’” he said.