Saturday, February 7, 2009

Liberal Media out to crucify Michael Steele

New RNC chief accused of misusing money during 2006 campaign
Sunday, February 08, 2009

WASHINGTON — A former campaign adviser for Michael Steele told federal prosecutors that Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were not performed.

The allegation is one of several made by Alan Fabian, who was the finance chairman for the campaign, that are outlined in a confidential court document. Fabian offered the information in March as he sought leniency during plea negotiations on unrelated fraud charges. Prosecutors gave him no credit for cooperation when he was sentenced in October.

Federal agents have contacted Steele's sister in recent days, a spokesman for Steele said.

Steele spokesman Curt Anderson said the allegations are false. "It's from, what, a convicted felon? And it has no substantiation in fact," he said.

Steele, a former Maryland lieutenant governor, has twice been fined for missing campaign finance filing deadlines during elections.

The U.S. attorney's office inadvertently sent the document, a defense sentencing memo, to The Washington Post after the newspaper requested the prosecution's sentencing memorandum.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein declined to comment. Fabian could not be reached. The Post corroborated some details of Fabian's claims, but others were disputed by people involved.

Fabian pointed to a February 2007 payment by Steele's campaign of more than $37,000 to Brown Sugar Unlimited, run by Steele's sister, Monica Turner. Campaign records list the expense as for "catering/web services." Turner filed papers to dissolve the company 11 months before the payment was received.

On Friday, Turner declined to describe any services she provided to the campaign. Steele lost the election to Democrat Ben Cardin.

Anderson said Turner "did a lot of media stuff" for the campaign. He provided a copy of an almost $15,000 invoice for catering services for events in October 2006 and July 2007. The invoice was dated December 2006, a discrepancy Anderson said was a typographical error.

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