Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scooter Khan Is Still a Campaign Finance Scofflaw (We’re Sorry to Report)

Today we received our 10th piece of direct mail––that’s 10, count ‘em––from Khalid Khan, who appears to be spending a sizable amount of somebody’s money to win the seat representing the humble precincts of District F on the Houston City Council, even though he apparently does not reside in the humble district. Just how much he’s spent remains a mystery, because, as we and others have previously reported, Khan did not see fit to list any expenditures for the mailings on the odd campaign finance disclosure filed with the city earlier this month. (He also, as noted here and elsewhere, signed an affidavit attesting that he had not raised or spent more than $20,000, thus relieving himself of the legal duty to file his document electronically, then went on to list $34,000 in contributions on his hand-scribbled report.) By our not-too-precise but close-enough count, at least 6 or 7 of those mailings, and possibly more, fell into our mailbox during the Jul 1-Sept. 24 period covered by the early-October disclosure, and their costs should have been reflected in Sr. Khan’s filing. KK––we previously nicknamed him “Scooter,” for reasons that escape us, but it sounds fitting––did not respond to our humble entreaty for an explanation, but later told the Chronicle
... he filed the affidavit because he was unable to get a password to file his report electronically from the city secretary's office on the day it was due. He said the mailing expenses were not reported because he had not been billed for them yet, although the law requires that expenses be reported when they are incurred.
Yes, it does. Blogger Greg, of the humbly named Greg’s Opinion and another potential council constituent of KK’s, has called Khan’s assertion of non-billing “a flat-out lie” and suggested that if Khan were telling the truth the well-known local direct-mail outfit whose stampage Khan’s mailings bear might be required to file its own disclosure with the city reporting the costs as a coordinated campaign expense on Khan’s behalf.

Since the matter of KK's errant report received attention from the daily newspaper, the candidate has filed an affidavit explaining his professed inability to acquire an electronic password in time and resubmitting the same report he “filed manuly” [sic] earlier this month. In other words, he did not revise his report to disclose his actual spending, even though the law must be pretty clear to him by now.

KK’s latest mailing, by the way, is a doozy––an 11X28’’ accordion foldout whose cover features a mock Texas license plate (with the purple mountains, y’know) and the bizarre text-message imperative “Khan SAYNO2 Crime.”

Yes, Khan, do, and meantime say “yes” to campaign finance law.

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