Gabbard cleared in fundraising complaint
Filed charges offer no proof of misconduct, says the Federal Elections Commission
The Federal Elections Commission has rejected a 2-year-old complaint filed against former City Councilman Mike Gabbard during his unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2004.
Big Island resident Alex Achmat had filed a complaint, charging that there was a pattern of large donations made to Gabbard by unverifiable and modestly employed contributors.
Gabbard rejected the charges and had filed a cross-claim, saying Achmat had been harassing and intimidating those who contributed to him.
In the opinion released by Gabbard, the FEC said Achmat did not offer any proof to substantiate the charges.
"The complainant offers nothing, not even so much as allegations that any specific contributions were reimbursed," the FEC decision stated.
Achmat had charged that the contributions could not have been made solely by the persons Gabbard listed and had actually been reimbursed.
"To leap from those conclusions to conclusion that those persons' contributions must have been reimbursed is to pile speculation upon speculation," the FEC stated.
Gabbard called the initial complaint "a politically motivated fabrication intended to damage my congressional candidacy."
Gabbard is now running as a Republican for the Kalaeloa-Makakilo state Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Brian Kanno.