I have also noticed a disturbing trend by the PDC to not interview critical witnesses. The PDC recently dismissed charges that Chad Minnick (the same political consultant who has been heavily involved with the Realtors PAC) concealed the true source of campaign contributions during his 2003 city council campaign. A citizen admitted to the PDC and the citizens of Monroe that he had been used as a straw donor to the campaigns of Minnick and another candidate in 2003.
The PDC found Minnick and the other candidate had both received an inordinate amount of cash--almost half of their campaign war chests--but did not issue or maintain any receipts for the thousands of dollars in cold, hard cash. They were unable to explain the circumstances of how a lot of this cash was delivered, and from whom. But the PDC didn't even bother to interview the treasurers!
Unbelievably, Chad Minnick, the POLITICAL CONSULTANT, claimed ignorance of the law requiring receipts for contributions over $50! This case was also handled in a "brief enforcement hearing", without the public being able to observe our PDC at work. And the agenda was not even posted until the morning of the hearing, as I recall. Brief enforcement hearings are not heard by the full commission, and are decided by one person--the Chairman. He fined Minnick $250, with most of it suspended. Such a trivial fine for multiple violations.
If campaigns want to avoid disclosing who is really giving the money, they ought to make sure they get it in cash--without receipts. The lack of a paper trail pays off. Now we see that the PDC did not bother to interview a critical witness in the Pike investigation. What is going on here? Why is the Public Disclosure Commission suddenly afraid of disclosure?