Congressional Candidate Frankel Accused of Running ‘Off-the-Books’ Campaign

Lois FrankelNLPC has filed a formal Complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Lois Frankel and her campaign committee. Democrat Frankel is running against incumbent Republican Rep. Allen West in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District. Frankel is the former mayor of West Palm Beach, and announced her candidacy on March 21. She is opposed in the Democratic primary by businessman Patrick Murphy.

The Complaint alleges that Frankel reported more than $250,000 in income but failed to report virtually all of the expenses connected to fundraising or other campaign activity. The costs that apparently went unreported include direct mail, telephones, web hosting, a post office box, and the pay for a consultant named Brian Smoot. Click here to download a 6-page pdf of the Complaint.

It is common for Congressional candidates to demonstrate early support by reporting as much income as possible, and to report as much cash on hand as possible. Frankel apparently took the rather novel approach of reporting the income but omitting most of the campaign’s expenses. The only problem is that she appears to be in violation of the Federal Campaign Election Act that requires income and expenditures to be disclosed.

The Complaint asks the FEC to investigate whether the undisclosed expenses were paid by a third party if they were not paid by the campaign.

NLPC has a track record of success before the FEC, with Complaints filed against candidates and members of the House and Senate in both parties.