Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Gabbard accused
of campaign violations

The congressional candidate says his
accuser has harassed his supporters

A Big Island man has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint accusing congressional candidate Mike Gabbard of attempting to conceal the identities, employment and occupations of his contributors.

Gabbard calls the complaint "ridiculous" and the man who filed it a "rabid supporter" of his opponent, Ed Case.

Hawi resident Alex Achmat said he filed the complaint after he and his son examined Gabbard's FEC reports and found a pattern of large donations made by unverifiable and modestly employed contributors.

He said he was startled by the thousands of dollars contributed by people whose occupations are listed as self-employed, broadcaster, carpenter, housekeeper, jewelry designer, landscapers, pastor and secretary.

"It was fascinating; it was like reading a murder mystery. We found people sharing P.O. boxes, same addresses, roommates contributing at different times," Achmat said.

Gabbard, who is the Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District (rural Oahu-neighbor islands) seat, said, "The claims put forth in this complaint are bogus," and "is but the latest chapter in Case's campaign of character assassination and distraction."

Gabbard said a complaint has also been filed with the FEC against Achmat for phoning, harassing and intimidating people who have donated to his campaign. He said a theft complaint has also been filed against Achmat for allegedly stealing dozens of Gabbard campaign signs in Hawi. Gabbard said Achmat has been confronting residents and attempting to intimidate Gabbard supporters into removing the signs.

Achmat said he is not an Ed Case supporter but a member of the Green Party. He said the signs stand for intolerance and bigotry and the residents agreed to have them removed. He said he turned them in to police after he heard a theft complaint was filed against him.

Federal Election Commission



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