David Schweikert has some 'xplaning to do
I believe that David Schweikert may be be in violation of FEC law. While admittedly I cannot prove this instance, it wouldn't be the first time. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest something shady is going on. I think when it’s all put together it raises some pretty tough questions, and shows at the very least show Schweikert isn’t being candid with the FEC about his campaign’s expenditures.
I have been frequenting the website Mitchelltruth.com (formerly Mitchellwatch.com) quite a bit lately, looking to find out what they’ll come up with next. Most of it is pretty ridiculous.
Inspired by the “Intellectual Conservative’s” sleuthing work done on me, I decided to take a closer look at who was behind MitchellTruth.com, and couldn’t believe what I found. MitchellTruth.com is registered to a very disreputable local company known as Domains By Proxy (DBP). DBP is well known to harbor identity thieves, phishers, email scammers, and hackers. Just google "Domains By Proxy" and you will see a host of warnings about scams and unethical business practices. Essentially, if you want to conduct shady or illegal business on the internet, you go through DBP to hide your real identification.
While the DBP information is intriguing, the really interesting part was who actually registered this website. Mitchelltruth.com was registered through another local company called East Valley Web. This amounts to an unforced error by the Schweikert campaign, and we will soon see why.
The owner of East Valley Web is Teri Johnson, a longtime Schweikert loyalist who has been on David’s payroll in one way or another since 2004. According to FEC reports filed by the Schweikert campaign, David has already paid her company (the same one that registered MitchellTruth.com) $16,000 this cycle. This sum included $555 for registering domain names through East Valley Web to Domains by Proxy. My domain cost $11, so I’m not sure what East Valley Web is spending that $555 on, but it sure the hell wasn’t David10.com. Not to mention a relatively simple website like David10.com wouldn’t cost anywhere near $16,000 – I know, it’s what I do. So why is David giving them so much money?
As mentioned, David has a long history with Teri Johnson and East Valley Web. This is evident by an internal audit which found then Maricopa Country Treasurer David Schweikert gave out no-bid contracts to East Valley Web (among other companies). The audit found that Schweikert was in violation of the County Procurement Code in $70,000 worth of purchases made on behalf of the taxpayers. The Maricopa County Internal Audit of 2009 specifically looked into bid-free money given to (drum roll please) Teri Johnson of “East Valley Web & Graphic Design”! That’s right, David has been caught trying to skirt to the rules to funnel money to East Valley Web before. Shooting par for the Republican course, David Schweikert’s love of the ‘free market’ didn’t last long once in office.
This connection between MitchellTruth.com and Johnson’s company when combined with the exorbitant amount of money paid by David’s campaign to East Valley Web lead me to believe that the Schweikert campaign has at least contributed to the operations of MitchellTruth.com, or possibly is fully funding it with campaign cash. Either Teri Johnson is really ripping her long time friend David off, or she is doing much more than advertised.
This connection is a dangerous one for Schweikert. If his campaign has in any way supported MitchellTruth.com, either directly or through East Valley Web, then he has broken federal election law.
FEC Regulations require that all projects of a candidate committee include the name of the candidate who authorized it. So, all websites being paid for by the Schweikert campaign need to clearly bear David’s name.
Confused? Don’t be, here are some examples of what is acceptable what is not.
For a website sponsored by David Schweikert for Congress running against Harry Mitchell:
HarryMitchell.com -- would be illegal because it does not bear Schweikert’s name.
MitchellTruth.com -- would be illegal because it does not bear Schweikert’s name.
David10.com/MitchellTruth – is legal under FEC rules.
Recap: David Schweikert is paying Teri Johnson’s company East Valley Web a lot of money, that is to say, a lot more than the obvious services she is providing would cost. East Valley Web registered MitchellTruth.com to an infamous company called Domains By Proxy, who specializes in concealing identities, which in my mind smacks of deception. I think this deception is made more likely when you consider Schweikert has a documented history of ignoring county procedure and ethical guidelines to get money flowing in the direction of Teri Johnson. If any of the $16,000 dollars paid to her company, East Valley Web, went to registering that domain, or operating the site, the Schweikert campaign has broken the law.
Again I can’t prove anything, nor do I claim to, but I think this is definitely worth further investigating. I will keep you posted.