Leach says Margolies again broke finance laws

Posted: May 14, 2014

State Sen. Daylin Leach says Marjorie Margolies is continuing to violate federal campaign finance laws, and has lodged a new complaint as the Democrats vying for the 13th Congressional District seat enter the last full week before the May 20 primary.

Leach said Monday he intends to file a supplementary letter with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Margolies has again spent contributions designated for the general election on her primary campaign.

Four Democrats are battling for the nomination in the 13th, which includes parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Margolies, who held the seat in the 1990s, has been described as a front-runner in the race. The other candidates are State Rep. Brendan Boyle and Valerie Arkoosh, an anesthesiologist.

Leach previously claimed that Margolies spent more than $70,000 of general election funds this year on the primary race. On Monday, he said Margolies had since spent an additional $15,000 in donations that were not supposed to be used until the general election. "This is a blatant and dramatic flouting of the law," Leach said.

Margolies has denied the accusations. Her campaign said Monday that Leach's campaign had failed to take into account $78,500 in unspent money that the campaign reported as a separate "Media Account."

"Marjorie 2014 used an acceptable accounting method to distinguish between general and primary funds, and at no time did Marjorie 2014 access general election funds for expenditures in this primary," campaign treasurer Jennifer May said in a statement.

Ken Smukler, a senior adviser to Margolies, last month called Leach's attack an attempt "to save his desperate campaign."

Margolies also said Leach had misled voters by claiming that he is "not a millionaire" in campaign ads because all the high-value assets he has reported belong to his wife, citing a $250,000 home equity loan he recently made to his campaign.

Margolies has also been taking shots at Boyle for his voting record on women's issues. On Monday, she called on the federal political action committee Building a Better Pennsylvania to disclose the sources of money the group has spent in the 13th District race. The group has run TV ads backing Boyle that portray him as a protector of women's rights, a description that his opponents have disputed.

Spokesman Ken Snyder said that Boyle was pro-choice and that the committee paying for the ad was made up largely of building trade unions.


asteele@phillynews.com

610-313-8113 @AESteele

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