That's the question that Jim Geraghty is asking about Christine O'Donnell failed senate campaign. It seems that she has almost $1 million left over in her campaign coffers. A campaign spokesman has said that this was advised by legal counsel in case funds would be needed for legal challenges. Sadly, many elections incur legal costs after election day for recounts and charges of voter fraud.
But, this isn't what the legal costs would have been for. O'Donnell had two investigations filed against her; one from the State GOP and one from CREW. Both of which were filed very early on. The state party filed before the primary and CREW filed shortly after her primary win.
It is no secret that I questioned the honesty and integrity of Christine O'Donnell and reading this has done nothing to change my mind. While I am no fan of either Senator-Elect Coons or of Congressman Castle, I still felt that people rallying around a candidate that seems to have a Clintonian relationship with the truth was not the best of ideas.
The money will be allowed to stay in that account in case she decides to run for political office again. The real issue than becomes that once she declares her candidacy for another public office that money can be used to generate a monthly salary for herself. This is something that she had been doing in the past. Her federal income tax return shows that in 2009 she made an income of $5800. How does one live off of that? The law states that she will be able to collect an income of either the amount of her last year's income or the income of the office that she is seeking. Her salary will be much higher in 2010 as she just recently signed a book deal.
I have no problem with the fact that she is planning on writing a book and using her experience as running for senate to make some money. That is the way a capitalist system works. My issue is that her history is one that deserves more scrutiny than it received by grassroots activists. The Tea Party and Sarah Palin rallied around a woman without doing the due diligence into her history.
The grassroots movement needs to be more careful which candidates that they are raising the banner for. While it is true that many involved in the tea party are new to politics, that doesn't mean that doing some background checks on potential candidates is something that should be ignored. Backing candidates that have questionable personal histories is not something that this movement can afford to keep doing if it wants to move forward.
There is no way to know at this time what O'Donnell plans on doing with these funds, but if she does choose to run again in two years, these questions should be raised before the tea party rallies around her once again. If we are saying to Washington that we want them to act more responsibly, then we need to thoroughly vet who were are attempting to send in to replace them. Otherwise we are just continuing the cycle instead of turning the tide to a more honest and transparent government.