Thursday, February 26, 2004


The Winston-Salem Journal published a blistering editorial yesterday against our State Senator Virginia Foxx, and it appears for all the world like she is caught red-handed in a developing scandal involving the violation of at least the spirit of campaign finance laws, if not the letter. (This editorial followed up a news report by David Rice on Sunday, detailing specifics from her campaign reports.) The W-S Journal, at least, believes that the charges are "worthy of a full review by the Federal Election Commission."

"Foxx's Lame Excuses" opens by comparing Foxx to Bill Clinton, a comparison guaranteed to wound to the quick any garden-variety Republican politician (not that there's anything common about Virginia). Seems that Foxx has been raising money for her congressional campaign (where she is limited to $2,000-per-donor) by laundering the money through her state senate campaign committee (where her limit-per-person is twice as generous, at $4,000). "Foxx's use of state campaign funds for purposes that will help her congressional effort are troublesome," says the W-S Journal, and could be a violation of federal law. (See this earlier item we posted about Foxx's being caught raising money for her state senate campaign, published in the Raleigh News & Observer. She's notorious state-wide. And see this, about her fund-raising coupled with her tireless poor-mouthing.)

Apparently Senator Foxx has attempted to explain away the expenditures out of her state senate account as "constituent services," amounting to some $34,746 in supposed constituent service, for a state senator who has consistently spent an average of $5,000 on those expenses. The Journal comments on this discrepancy: "What voters have here is a politician who thought she could fudge on the rules and then talk her way out of trouble."

As if the Bill Clinton comparison wasn't wound enough, the Journal then rubs a little salt into the cut: "Foxx also tries to hide behind the veil of ignorance. She didn't know of some improper spending, and she only learned of it only when contacted by reporters. That sounds like the excuse that Meg Scott Phipps, the state's soon-to-be-imprisoned former agriculture commissioner, used when confronted with evidence of fraud in her campaign. Phipps had been a judge; Foxx has been a senator for 10 years. Both know enough to closely oversee their campaign's spending."

The Journal editorial ends with this zinger: "Her record in Raleigh is one of self-righteousness toward all with whom she disagrees. Now she's the one who messed up, and she expects voters to believe that she's as innocent as a lamb. No one's going to buy that, and the FEC shouldn't either."

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