Thanks to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, we now know a lot more about finances of the Herman Cain campaign.
According to an October 30 story:
Herman Cain’s two top campaign aides ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas – something that might breach federal tax and campaign law, according to sources and documents.
Internal financial records obtained by No Quarter show that Prosperity USA said it was owed about $40,000 by the Cain campaign for a variety of items in February and March. Cain began taking donations for his presidential bid on Jan. 1.
Prosperity USA was owned and run by Wisconsin political operatives Mark Block and Linda Hansen, Cain’s current chief of staff and deputy chief of staff, respectively.
The authenticity of the records was verified by two individuals close to the firm.
The New York Times followed several days later.
The story resulted in a Federal Election Commission complaint by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington against Friends of Herman Cain, Prosperity USA, and Block.
Based on internal financial records from Prosperity USA obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the complaint alleges Prosperity USA made illegal corporate contributions to Herman Cain’s presidential campaign by using $40,000 in corporate funds to buy iPads and pay for campaign trips to Iowa, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston and Dallas in February and March of 2011.
The complaint also alleges Mr. Block personally violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by authorizing the illegal corporate contributions as president of Prosperity USA, and then by accepting the illegal contributions as treasurer of Friends of Herman Cain. This makes Mr. Block the first person in the history of the Act to have both given and received the same illegal contributions. The complaint also alleges Mr. Block violated the Act by failing to disclose the Prosperity USA expenditures.
Meanwhile, another group has asked the IRS to review the apparent misuse of funds channeled through the tax-exempt organization.
There’s some meaty reading here. Have fun.