As a candidate for Congress whose only notable attribute is having your medical license restricted for "excessive use of massage," it would probably be best to make sure your Congressional campaign isn't beset by violations of election law from the get-go. Dr. Perry "Massage Therapist Millionaire" Haney apparently sees things differently.
Today the Colorado GOP sent a Valentine's Day love note to Haney in the form of a complaint requesting a FEC investigation into his violation of campaign law. (read the complaint here)
Haney has been campaigning like a candidate for Congress for nearly half a year now, yet only filed his candidacy papers on October 27, 2011, allowing him to avoid disclosing his finances until January 31, 2012.
Election law is pretty clear about that not being okay. From the law:
Once an individual engages in campaign activity, if he or she has raised or spent more than $5,000, the individual must register as a candidate with the FEC. Campaign activities include raising funds in excess of what could reasonably be expected to be used for exploratory activities, undertaking activities designed to amass campaign funds that would be spent after he or she becomes a candidate, or making statements that refer to the individual as a candidate. 11 CFR § 100.72. In addition, if the name of an individual’s testing the waters committee indicates that the candidate has already decided to run for congress, this is also considered campaign activity. See Advisory Opinion 1981-32.
Haney's website PerryHaneyforCongress.com shows its first blog post on June 28, 2011, meaning that Haney cast himself as a Congressional candidate for four months before filing his paperwork. Additionally, his campaign FB page "Perry Haney for Congress" was created in June and contains many postings before October 27 that can only be construed as that of a Congressional candidate, like this one:
Hiding your finances from the public for seven months doesn't strike us as transparency.
Haney's FEC filing shows he gave his own campaign $1,000 on June 6, $50,000 on July 19, and another $50,000 on September 30, all before his filed his official candidacy. The report also shows a $400 donation to Perry Haney for Congress on Sept 2, nearly two months before that campaign committee existed.
Seems to us that hefty hunk of change is way over acceptable limits for merely exploring a run. Haney himself refers to his campaign for Congress on Facebook as far back as July 2011.
Furthermore, Haney spent serious money on multiple consultants/staffers for months before filing as a candidate, making it pretty obvious to all but the densest observers that he was, in fact, a candidate for Congress.
This could be a serious problem for Haney. It seems pretty clear that he flagrantly and repeatedly violated federal election law for months. While the FEC is not known for its ability to deal with enforcing its laws, such an obvious violation won't go unnoticed either now that the GOP has filed a formal complaint.
This is just the latest in a string of embarrassments emanating from the Haney for Congress troupe.
Haney's original mailing address was listed as a PO Box in Grand Junction, as he was contemplating running in CD3. When he did file for the CD6 race, he filed from Lone Tree, which is now part of CD4. Oops.
Haney's only FEC report was riddled with errors when it was filed, neglecting to note the occupation and employer of almost all of his donors over $200, as required by law. His report also showed $26,000 in payments to an opposition research firm — all before becoming a candidate.
Folks, this looks like an open and shut case of election law violation to us.
And an open and shut case of an amateur run campaign operating on no more than the ambition and personal bank account of a man who should probably spend more time tending to his medical license.