Wednesday, October 27, 2010

HDCC Calls For Investigation Into Simmons' Supporters

A week ago today, I told you that State Rep. Karen Beyer, who was defeated by Republican Justin Simmons in the Spring primary, was also battling independent expenditures by two different groups. The Morning Call has now reported on this as well. To this day, we have no idea who was funding attack ads aimed at Karen. The state BCEL has opened up an investigation. Now comes word that the House Democratic Campaign Committee wants an investigation, too. They want the State Department and IRS to look into the activities of Citizens' Alliance of Pennsylvania, a registered nonprofit run by Pat Toomey's former COS, Joe Sterns (pictured on the right).

In a conversation I had with Sterns after my post, he denied that his group does anything improper and claimed his flyers are designed to educate the electorate. A Simmons campaign spokesperson tells me, "this is just an attempt to deflect attention away from Horton's record." But the HDCC sees things a little differently, as this news release reveals.

"During the last three weeks, Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania has sent four campaign mailers to residents of the 131st House District endorsing Simmons. Although Citizens Alliance operates a political action committee, the four Simmons mailers came from the group’s non-profit arm.

"Federal law forbids 'social welfare,' or 501(c)(4), organizations such as Citizens Alliance from operating primarily to influence elections.

"But it is unclear what else Citizens Alliance does. Since its founding earlier this year, Citizens Alliance and its associated PAC have endorsed several candidates for office, and the group’s chairman, retired Republican state Rep. John Kennedy, admitted in an interview in March that the group’s goal is to elect 40-50 'like-minded' candidates to the Legislature, where they can be counted on to fall in line with their secret backers’ right-wing agenda.

"In Simmons’ case, it is the charity, not the political action committee, that has taken the lead on influencing his campaign, openly endorsing his candidacy on four separate political mailers.

"A formal request for an investigation of Citizens Alliance’s activities was filed Wednesday with the Department of State’s Bureau of Campaigns, Elections and Legislation. HDCC also filed a complaint Tuesday with the state Bureau of Charitable Organizations’ Division of Investigations and Audits, which forwarded the request to the IRS.

"'It’s outrageous that Justin Simmons and his shadowy backers are manipulating the law to try to steal this election,' said Fiona Conroy, executive director of HDCC. 'Citizens Alliance is clearly primarily interested in campaigning on behalf of its secret donors and in support of right-wing extremist candidates. Such activity is forbidden by federal law. Simmons’ apparent willingness to align with groups like this casts doubt upon his ethics and his judgment.'


Anonymous said...

Behind every Tea Party candidate is a Billionaire that wants to turn America into a slave authoritarian state like China.

The Tea Party, useful idiots of the Koch brothers.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Behind every Tea Party candidate is a Billionaire that wants to turn America into a slave authoritarian state like China.

The Tea Party, useful idiots of the Koch brothers.

3:58 PM

and George Soros is different?

Anonymous said...

Well, ain't this the pot calling the kettle black. This has become a 3 person election because the whiney one hasn't figured out that she has LOST. Get over it Beyer. Go away! Harrisburg is ticking away the days until you are officially gone so they can sing Ding Dong the Witch is Gong!!!!! But, of a more serious note, this Beyer woman has the audacity to file ethics charges when she, herself, should be brought up on charges. She asked the pastor of the St. John's UCC Church in Coopersburg during the primary to make calls to the community asking people to vote for Beyer putting their own 501C3 at risk. How shameful is that???? And, here's a question of a more current nature. Who is paying for her town hall meetings this Thurs. and Saturday? I sure as hell hope the taxpayers are not footing the bill as in the past. The last town hall she had at Louie's cost over $1000. Why is a lame duck legislator holding town hall meetings in the first place? Anyone who is planning on attending should be asking these questions. If her goal is to say good-bye to her constituents, then she should be paying for this out of her pocket, and it should come off her website, and she should not be sending e-mail blasts on legislative time. So, now who should be reported?????????

Anonymous said...

The Koch Brothers and George probably have dinner together laughing their ass off how they both manipulate the process and markets to their own ends.

Anonymous said...


When I was a kid, telling my mother little Timmy across the street was doing something worse than I was never got me off the hook for bad behavior for some reason.

Serious questions have been raised about Mr. Simmons. Whatever Karen is doing is a separate issue.

Anonymous said...

@429 We are going to get into a pissing contest here. Beyer's actions are a desparate attempt to mar a great candidate. Just because an investigation has begun does not mean there is any wrong doing. Now, let's move on to all the wrong doing's of this Beyer woman who can't keep her own family business clean let alone be on the up and up about the work she does in her office. She's still in office....and works in a non-smoking office. Check her office out anytime after 3pm during these stressful times and see if her office is smoke free. Isn't that in itself a violation?????

Anonymous said...

I will happily pull the lever for Simmons on tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!

George Soros said...

Yes, indeed, all money should be traceable to the penny; whether it comes from shadowy Nazi collaborators to support Obama or NPR plant reporters I've funded.

It's unfortunate that Republicans are starting to beat Democrats at the game I invented for them.

I thought Russ Feingold fixed all this. Oh, that's right. He's about to be bitch-slapped out of the Senate.

It's going to be a painful Tuesday night for the hopey changey dummies.

Chris Casey said...

Can we stick to issues here?

Does it really matter who created the game?

There are some serious questions to be answered about Simmons campaign and who is behind it.

It would be easy to call someone a "Manchurian" candidate, but Simmons never served, he just wants to do whatever the Club for Growth tells him to do. He is their boy, and Beyer wasn't.

I say expose all of it, who is supporting who in every race.

Simmons got in bed with one of the devils, and that is his cross to bear.

Anonymous said...


Karen is on her way out of office, Simmons might be on his way in.

If you want to post about what an awful person Karen is, have at it. She's a public figure.

The issue of this post appears that Simmons may have broken some campaign finance laws or at least the people supporting him did.

Why is Justin afraid of an investigation. If he is clean he should be happy to clear his name.

Anonymous said...

"... operating primarily to influence elections."

Lots of room for interpretation. Nothing illegal. It's the same partisan tact taken against the US Chamber of Commerce for exploiting the same fuzzy rules Democrats flaunted to clean Republican clocks in 2008. Nothing here but partisan sizzle with no steak. Change the rules if you don't like them. These guys liked them two years ago, but have had a change of heart. Shocking. It's the silly season. Take your loss with dignity.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That Simmons character is dangerous. I was going to vote for him, not any more. Where there's smoke there's fire. The story is about Beyer. It's about Simmons' illegal use of funds. Not what we need in Harrisburg.

Anonymous said...

Time for the truth to come out. How did this 23 year old win? By getting into bed with criminals.
Everyone has a right to know where the money is coming from.
Enough said!

Anonymous said...

The only one getting into bed with people is Beyer. That's how she ran her years in office, and that's how she's clearly running this crap garbage fakahka BS about Simmons. Simmons has done nothing wrong. He's a perfect candidate who will represent the 131st well. My vote is on him!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:11, so your goal in life is to be as good as a George Soros zombie? Aim for the stars my friend.

Anonymous said...

Where is Horton's money coming from? I saw he had a fundraiser in Philadelphia that was organized by Dwight there is a reformer

Also, didn't Beyer get elected by the assistance of illegal activity? Campaign workers being payed with taxpayer money...I guess she forgot. I guess we also forgot that she hired a P.I. to follow Horton around.

What has Simmons done illegal? Nothing, he reported where his money came from.

It's clear to me that Beyer is still bitter and planning on running against Simmons in two years as a Dem.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe any semi-conscious person would vote or worse yet change their vote based on this blog. Good Grief, this is the last place for facts. As a political hangout it is fun to come here and shoot the shit but seriously people if you start reading all this nonsense and think it is God certified truth, you should be certified.

Casey is in his new kiss Bernie ass mode since they had their spat and Bernie loves Beyer which means he hates Simmons. It is not that hard folks. Just follow the bouncing O'Hare.

Seriously, of course Beyer wants Horton with all his warts to win so she can run in two years. Its in her blood and an honest job isn't in her future.

Pretty straight forward.

Anonymous said...

so because a group that supported Simmons failed to correctly file he must be an evil shadowy Manchurian candidate?

the shadowy back room of evil "right wing extremists" is trying to steal the election! If a couple fliers and 500 bucks is all it took to top bitter beyer what does that say about her?

And lets ignore the fact that Simmons hit thousands of doors before the primary, I am sure that had nothing to do with his win, it was the "evil right wing extremists."

BTW the democrats have been using this "secret corporate backer" excuse in every election that they are loosing. because they are ashamed of their record so they decided that the only way they can win is by trying to make the republican candidates look evil.
Time to break out the tin-foil hats everyone.

Anonymous said...

Justin Simmons is a fool. Elmer Gates loves a fool like Justin. Joe Sterns is a crook. Just look at him. Simmons is in a panic because he is going to lose. Simmons is a joke. He accepts the Citizens Alliance endorsement. His hands are all over this. Too bad for you Justin. Too bad for you.

Anonymous said...

Check out Lehigh County voter registration. Simmons only voted twice in his voting life. Once in 2008 general election and the second time in the 2010 primary. He never even voted as an intern for Mensch and idiot Wonderling! What a joke!!!!

Anonymous said...

@7:26 Well said!!!!

Anonymous said...

Simmons appears to be a typical dirty politician who will do whatever it takes to win. He lies. He cheats. He allows groups to support him who don't properly disclose their contributors.

This sure as heck helped me make my mind up. I am voting for Horton...he may be a demo, but talks like a repo...that is good enough for me.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. And he's an arrogant tax deadbeat who won't come clean about his record at West Point and won't explain how he went from the Fortune 500 to the public tit.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:43 PM
Yaa he TALKS like a republican to trick the moderates and conservatives who fell into Beyer's trap. If he gets to Harrisburg he will be a rubber stamp for the wasteful spending that is ruining us. look at Horton's contributors, 10k from Ed Randell and another 10K from dwight evans.

yea I am sure he will be a conservative voice.

But if you are ok with higher spending, higher taxes, and an Ed Randell rubber stamp; sure go ahead, vote for Horton.

Anonymous said...

Simmons is a kid who still lives with his parents. Once he gets some experience, has a real job, pays property taxes, raises some kids and contributes to his own health insurance, then maybe he'll make a legitimate candidate. I applaud him for his interest, but for now, how can anyone vote for him? Really? Do you think he has what it takes to help run our state government? Really? This isn't student council. Be serious. It's the same mistake this district made with Beyer. Horton may not be perfect, but at least he has lived in the real world. And dealt with the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Whats the deal with his ears. check out those lobes!

Is he Vulcan or Romulan?

Anonymous said...

@ 12:34 AM

maybe we should bring back property requirements to run for office if that is how you feel.

Yorkville said...

The one and only Joe Sterns is on this message board:

Defending his tactics against Beyer.

Come and tell him what you think.

I hope you don't mind, but we linked some of your articles on that message board.