Shocking campaign finance reports: felons, out-of-county / out-of-state donors, questionable expenditures, and a Segway(?)

More from Virginia Sherlock’s research:

Clerk of court candidate Ciampi’s campaign received 10 checks for $500 each.  County commission candidates Hayes, Smith and Tucker received, respectively, 4 checks, 10 checks and 9 checks for $500 each. ****


**** Hayes, Ciampi and Smith each received $3,500.00 in contributions from seven individuals in the Alpharetta, Georgia, area who sent checks for $500 apiece to each of the candidates.  The Georgia donors included John and Patti Driver, who are identified as retirees from Alpharetta.  For more, click these links:

Other Georgia residents who gave generously to Smith, Ciampi and Hayes include a helicopter charter service operator, an auto leasing and restaurant entrepreneur, and an employee leasing company operator who relinquished his Florida license after a string of complaints and fines levied by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. ****


**** More than 55% of contributions to Patrick Hayes’ campaign have come from out-of-state or out-of-county contributors.


About 49% of Ed Ciampi’s contributions are from individuals or businesses outside the 19th judicial circuit.


A stunning 70% of Brandon Tucker’s contributions are from out-of-state or out-of-county donors.


Doug Smith rounds out the out-of-county/out-of-state sweeps with 40% of his contributions coming from those with no disclosed stake in Martin County.

Is Ciampi's expenditure of $3K for a Segway legitimate?

**** On the spending side, those of you who have witnessed candidate Ciampi scooting around on a personal mobility device may be interested in learning  that he lists a $3,000 campaign expenditure for the Segway. ****


**** Ciampi also used $125.00 in campaign funds to pay for “membership” in the Martin County Bar Association, even though he’s not an attorney.


He also made hundreds of dollars of donations with campaign funds to United Way, United for Families, Humane Society, American Cancer Society, Joey Swanson Fund, Education Foundation of Martin County, Surfers for Autism, Soroptimist of Stuart, Helping People Succeed, Children’s Home Society and other charitable organizations.


This is in keeping with Ciampi’s last-ditch giveaway of taxpayer dollars from his commission district funds.  He handed out the equivalent of a laid-off County maintenance worker’s annual salary last month — $30,000 in donations to the Martin County Sportsmen’s Association, Sustaining Community Lands, and Indiantown Community Outreach.


Brandon Tucker also used campaign contributions to make donations to charities like Friends of Historic Golden Gate, Inc., and Boys and Girls Clubs of Martin County as well as to pay his membership dues to several local Chambers of Commerce. ****


While their generosity may be admirable, the use of campaign contributions to make charitable donations and to pay membership is questionable.  There’s no doubt that Ciampi and Tucker are generous with OPM (other people’s money).


We can only wonder whether, if elected, they will be equally generous with TPM (taxpayers’ money)!

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