12th District congressional candidate Rick Allen files complaint against opponent Wright McLeod's campaign

Saturday, May 12, 2012 5:50 PM
Last updated Monday, May 14, 2012 6:24 PM
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Congressional candidate Rick Allen is lodging a complaint against fellow 12th district candidate Wright McLeod, alleging that his opponent broke federal campaign rules by stealing donor information, accepting excessive contributions and failing to properly disclose expenditures.

McLeod responded late Friday, saying Allen was “losing” in fundraising and trying to “up the ante” by filing an ethics complaint against him with the Federal Elections Commission. He disputed some of the allegations and said he needed more information to respond to others.

A copy of the complaint, obtained by The Chronicle, says the McLeod campaign lifted proprietary donor information, “most likely violating federal law,” from Allen’s campaign finance reports. Using contributor information from finance reports to solicit donations is a violation of federal election laws.

The first allegation came to light when Allen’s daughter and son-in-law, who live in Atlanta and Carrollton, respectively, and did not request McLeod literature, received a fundraising mailing from the McLeod campaign, according to the complaint.

Scott Paradise, who is Allen’s campaign manager and filed the complaint on the candidate’s behalf, pointed to the identical punctuation and abbreviations used in Allen’s disclosure forms and the address labels on the McLeod mailings, which “differ(ed) from how their names appear in Department of Motor Vehicles, voter registration records, or any previous campaign finance reports for separate campaign.”

The second allegation claims that McLeod under-reported on his April 15 quarterly report the value of an in-kind donation of office space for his campaign headquarters.

The report lists four donors — Margaret Dunstan, James Hull, Bernard Dunstan and Barry Storey — who made in-kind donations of $250 each month, totaling $1,000, to rent McLeod’s campaign headquarters. However, Paradise asserts that $1,000 in rent for the 6,674-square-foot space is below the average market rate of $11.50 per square foot in the area.

“Even if McLeod for Congress claims to use only a portion of the office space, I have knowledge that they are using far more than 1,043 square feet, which is $1,000 per month of space in that area,” he said .

McLeod said the rent was reasonable because the building had been vacant for four years and was in poor condition.

The third allegation is that McLeod did not itemize payroll expenditures. Congressional candidates are required to list the names and addresses of any person paid more than $200 within a calendar year for campaign work. McLeod simply lists “payroll” alongside six entries totaling $36,505 in January, February and March.

McLeod said most of his campaign work was performed by volunteers, none of whom earned near the staff salary amounts listed by name and address on Allen’s campaign reports.

Paradise, who said he’d worked with a dozen campaigns before joining Allen’s, said the issues, coupled with McLeod’s recent assertion about how little the McLeod campaign is spending, showed that McLeod “is cutting corners and breaking the law in order to save some money.”

McLeod said he took “great offense that they would claim that I have done something fraudulent. We’ve got great momentum in this campaign. We’re proud of what we’ve done in a very short period of time.”

Longtime political observer and 12th Congressional District Republican Party chairman Dave Barbee, who supports McLeod, said the move was “Mickey Mouse politics.”

“The first candidate who throws a negative stone is behind. That’s what’s happening here,” Barbee said.

McLeod, Allen, Rep. Lee Anderson and Maria Sheffield are seeking the Republican nomination in July to run against Democratic incumbent John Barrow in November. Barrow’s district was redrawn during reapportionment to include all of Richmond and most of Columbia counties and to increase the Republican chances of winning the seat.

What do they have?

Campaign fundraising in the 12th Congressional District Republican primary race, as of March 31:

 ContributionsLoansSpent
Rick Allen$268,162$100,000$137,303
Lee Anderson$210,522--$161,720
Wright McLeod$284,346--$85,164
Maria Sheffield$14,003$100,249$12,521

Source: Federal Election Commission filings

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Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/12/12 - 11:00 pm
5
2
Sarcasm Alert...

Sarcasm Alert...

Wright McCleod do something unethical? No way. I would never believe that. Haha.

bdouglas
5439
Points
bdouglas 05/12/12 - 11:47 pm
6
3
I don't claim to know

I don't claim to know anything about McLeod's political prowess, or lack thereof. I do know that his law practice manages a lot of subdivisions' HOA's in this area, including mine. He or his campaign used this business relationship to solicit donations from all of the homeowners in these neighborhoods via email, which I found rather unscrupulous.

Just My Opinion
5924
Points
Just My Opinion 05/13/12 - 06:09 am
4
1
bdouglas, we might live in

bdouglas, we might live in the same subdivision because we got the same solicitations. And I didn't like it either. It just seemed that he assumed that he could go ahead and send us information, and whatever, because he was associated with our HOA. In light of this article's information, I'm not finding it hard to believe that McLeod would do these things. And before any readers asume it, I have NOT even considered yet who I will vote for...Allen or McLeod. But I do know that I don't want anyone I consider "smarmy"....that's one of those words that you just know what it means when it's associated with a person or with a politician! (Kinda like Mr. Haney from "Green Acres"!)

mrducks
59
Points
mrducks 05/13/12 - 06:09 am
1
0
Poor Little Ricky
Unpublished

His feelings are hurt because he knows he will not win. So, now, he's grasping at straws. What a poor loser.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/13/12 - 06:29 am
2
1
And the circular firing squad

And the circular firing squad forms. Great theater, thanks guys.

avidreader
3383
Points
avidreader 05/13/12 - 07:58 am
2
2
The Good Man

I will support Rick Allen for the nomination in July. I've never cared much for politicians in general, but I kind of liked Charlie Norwood, and Allen has the same appeal -- a hard-working family man who has a deep love for his community. And yes, he's a Pickens Street dweller and has some serious cash, but so what? He earned his money honestly and keeps a lot of our citizens employed. I'm sick of lawyers and political-machine nominees, and Dave Barbee. Rick Allen knows how to run a successful business, and he will transfer these skills into the political arena.

RetiredArmyToo
38
Points
RetiredArmyToo 05/13/12 - 09:46 am
3
1
Takes one to know one

The Chronicle publishes an unsigned compliant knowing full well there is no way the FEC has contacted the other Campaign. Is the Chronicle going to show the evidence or just take Mr. Paradises word for it? Some of us like to make up our own mind. Guess we all know who the Chronicle is endorsing. Since Mr. Allen and the Chronicle are so close; How's that TEE Center going?

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/13/12 - 10:13 am
2
1
RetiredArmyToo, from your

RetiredArmyToo, from your logic, the Chronicle should never report when arrests are made or lawsuits are filed. A complaint is a complaint. Take it for what it's worth.

And, for what it's worth, I have no idea what the Chronicle thinks of Wright McCleod, but I know what he thinks of it. When I spoke with him, he mocked the newspaper and Billy Morris. It wasn't exactly professional, but it is what I have come to expect of him.

jbartley
582
Points
jbartley 05/13/12 - 10:23 am
2
2
How Could He Balance a Checking Account.

Wright McLeod misused $2000.00 that was made payable to a insurance company from a closing of mine in the Stratford neighborhood for two years before he had to pay up. How could he help balance this countries Checking Account.

I'm Just Saying
9
Points
I'm Just Saying 05/13/12 - 10:54 am
2
1
Someone needs to ask McLeod about his real estate license

As an attorney in the State of Georgia, Mr. McLeod should know the laws of the State. When he stated managing HOA's he was not licensed under state law to do so for more than a year maybe longer. I think this is very interesting considering the fact that his a "real estate attorney". Makes me question if he knows what he's doing or did he know and just think the State Laws didn't apply to him. Not the kind of man I want representing me in Washington.

He did finally activate a Georgia Real Estate License in June 2010 but long after he began representing Community Associations. Then he let it lapse in Feb. 2011 for not completing his education requirements. Bet he still collected fees from all those HOA's in March. I think that's against the law too! He finally renewed in March 31, 2011--it's all on the GREC website, look for yourself. What this means is he practiced real estate without a license for the second time from Feb. 18, 2011 through March 31, 2011. If I lived in one of his communities, I'd be asking for a refund.

I'm just saying........

Little Lamb
47240
Points
Little Lamb 05/13/12 - 11:10 am
1
2
Sneaky McLeod

That's pretty sneaky for McLeod to use Allen's required campaign filings to mine names for McLeod's fundraising efforts. But I gather McLeod has a habit of such things, judging from the comments above.

Go to Rick Allen's web site and read his positions on important issues of our times. They are clear and sensible:

Rick W. Allen for Congress

In July I plan to ask for a Republican ballot and vote for Rick Allen. I hope my endorsement does not cost him votes.

12thUnderProtest
87
Points
12thUnderProtest 05/13/12 - 11:14 am
3
0
Bullies never win.

I'm a Lee Anderson supporter but I've met both these guys at different groups that I'm a member of. If you've been involved with Lee's campaign since the get go you've heard whispers about how Allen tried to bully him out of the race by convincing him that he wasn't a good enough candidate. Lee is the kindest, hardest-working guy I know and he'd be a great congressman!

Now this seems like McLeod has gotten Allen flustered and he had to come up withe a way to bully him too. It's no surprise. Everyone I know is either voting for Lee or Wright McLeod so we're heading to a runoff between the two. Allen must see the writing on the wall.

Because Rick Allen can't connect with the voters on his own he's trying to push others out. Well I wouldn't vote for that man for dogcatcher!

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 05/13/12 - 12:17 pm
3
1
Rick never met a government

Rick never met a government contract he didnt like or put a million dollar change order to it.

RondalPerry
5
Points
RondalPerry 05/13/12 - 12:43 pm
3
1
Chess?

Rick Allen can't play tennis, and he obviously can't play chess either.

Conservative Man
5577
Points
Conservative Man 05/13/12 - 12:59 pm
2
0
I've met both men, McCleod

I've met both men, McLeod and Allen. I like them both personally. But I'm supporting Wright this time around. I'm sure if you dig deeply enough into ANY politicians background you'll find something, somewher that might not seem "kosher". But the main reason I'm not for Mr. Allen is his connections to the "good ole boys" who have nearly ran this county into the ground all the while enriching themselves at the "public trough". My belief is that Mr. Allen will follow suit....

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/13/12 - 01:02 pm
2
1
I can attest to Wright being

I can attest to Wright being a bully... When he closed on my house, he ridiculed me during the entire process. Then his idea of correcting a "mistake" was to threaten me.

Cynical old woman
1111
Points
Cynical old woman 05/13/12 - 04:51 pm
1
1
Allen

All the way! We need to start running this county, this state, this country like a business!

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