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Maybe someone can tell me how nearly $400,000 in unitemized petty cash expenses can be explained as anything but good, old-fashioned dirty machine politics.  I can't think of a business that can get away with that kind of fast and loose accounting, unless you want to count Heritage Foundation interns losing billions of dollars on behalf of Joe's permanent war in Iraq.

The explanations given by the Lieberman campaign as to where this money went are laughable — they claim that all that slush fund cash was used to pay for salaries, food, lodging and transport of LieberYouth during the campaign.  But all of those expenses were itemized in the FEC report (PDF).   

From the New Haven Register:

Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun said she wasn’t with the campaign at the time of the primary, but her understanding is that there was a staffer in charge of keeping track of petty cash.

She said the money was used to cover salaries, food, lodging and transportation for hundreds who were hired to do statewide canvassing. The daily rates ranged from $60 to $75 to $100 for the work, Sun said. She said she would attempt to find the petty cash report by Monday.

So the person they send to address the question is unable to answer it because she wasn't there at the time and she's stalling furiously.  Nothing fishy there, right?

Mark Pazniokas of the Hartford Courant:

At least 10 payments labeled "petty cash" for "volunteers" are listed in Lieberman's campaign finance report, which was made public last week by the Federal Election Commission. The largest payment of $135,000 was made Aug. 4. Other cash payments in the days before the primary included $75,000 on Aug. 7 and $87,500 on Aug. 2.

Tammy Sun, a spokeswoman for the Lieberman campaign, said the money was used for payments to young field workers hired in the closing weeks of the primary. She said they were paid $50, $75 or $100 a day.

Does someone want to explain in what universe you "pay" volunteers?

That's one out of every twelve dollars spent during the entire reporting period with no documentation, no explanation, just a lot of non-credible ex-post-facto excuses.  I think no-show Joe has some 'splaining to do. 

Update:  Stoller:

This could be a serious legal situation for Lieberman, and he needs to explain it and not just go on the attack.  Vote-buying is illegal.

There were plenty of rumors of vote buying during the primary.  As Matt says, if that's not true Lieberman needs to provide some credible, verifiable explanation for where this money went.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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