Washington—Early in the election cycle, announced candidate for the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania Siobhan Bennett has already shown her flaws. First, she filed an outrageously erroneous personal disclosure form, and then she became the center of attention of a scandal involving the non-profit for which she is currently employed. Now, her former employer, Americans Coming Together (ACT), has been hit with a massive fine by the Federal Election Commission for their activities during the 2003-2004 election cycle.
Siobhan Bennett has some real questions to answer about her involvement with ACT and her series of lapses in judgment.
Here are the facts surrounding Siobhan Bennett’s involvement with ACT:
FACT: “The Federal Election Commission announced Wednesday that it had imposed a $775,000 fine on America Coming Together (ACT), a Democratic-allied 527 group that played a major role in the 2004 presidential election.”
FACT: ACT was fined for blatantly ignoring Federal Election Commission contribution guidelines. Bankrolled by a billionaire while pretending to be for the average Joe, America Coming Together acted like it was above the law.
“ACT, which received a significant amount of its funding from billionaire George Soros, paid for much of the Democrats’ voter registration and voter mobilization activities in battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida during the 2004 race…” (The Hill 8/29/2007)FACT: The FEC found that ACT illegally spent over $100 million to influence the 2004 election. (The Hill 8/29/2007)
FACT: Siobhan Bennett served as the Lehigh Valley Regional Field Director for the group America Coming Together during the 2004 Election Cycle. (Morning Call Newspaper 7/11/2004)
FACT: ACT, as a political nonprofit, is not allowed to actively endorse a candidate. But its state communications director, Rebecca Kirszner calls it a “left-leaning grassroots organization.” Its Web site says one of the national group's goals is to defeat Bush “and his Republican allies” in the fall. (Morning Call Newspaper 7/11/2004)
FACT: The local press also had no misconceptions about ACT’s behavior as directed by Siobhan Bennett
.“Since then she [Siobhan Bennett] . . . served last year as the field director of the Lehigh Valley chapter of America Coming Together, a political organization that supports Democrats.” (Morning Call 1/28/2005)Certainly the ACT office that Bennett managed sounds like it was overtly political, in violation of its non-profit status.
Siobhan has some questions to answer regarding her employment and work with this “non-profit” organization:
QUESTION: Does Siobhan Bennett feel any guilt having worked for such an obviously illegal and improper entity – America Coming Together?
QUESTION: Did Bennett coordinate improperly in any way with the Kerry campaign, the Joe Driscoll for Congress campaign or any local Democrat committee in contravention of her group’s supposed non-profit status?
QUESTION: On her website, Siobhan writes:
“We have all been disappointed and appalled by continuing reports of corruption in Congress and the Administration. The most insidious effect of widespread corruption is the idea that ‘everybody in Washington does it.’”
“In Congress, I promise to conduct the people’s business fairly, openly and for all my constituents, and not for the benefit of special interests.”
Why would the voters of the 15th District ever believe any statement Siobhan Bennett makes regarding ethics, given her employment with ACT and her series of lapses in judgment?