Robin Carnahan definitely has Moxie, and so does Mo GOP
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 17, 2009 - Secretary of State Robin Carnahan can claim she definitely has Moxie. That's the name for her foal, chosen from a number of suggestions offered by the public during her name-that-filly contest.
Among the rejections: Harriett, Senator, Victory, Bess, Stephen Foalbert and (my personal favorite as an aspiring wordsmith) Secretariat of State.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Republican Party also can claim some moxie. It filed an ethics complaint Wednesday against Carnahan. The party's executive director, Lloyd Smith, explained the details in a conference call this afternoon.
In a release right before the call, Smith said the complaint is "over Robin Carnahan’s attempt to conceal information on her state and federal financial disclosure forms. At issue is Carnahan’s failure to disclose a business owned by her spouse, Juan Carlos Antolinez.
“All the evidence points to the fact that Antolinez International Trade is registered to Robin Carnahan’s spouse, Juan Carlos Antolinez, yet she has refused to disclose its existence on any of her personal financial disclosure reports,” said Smith. “This begs the questions: What is this business? Who are the clients? And why is Carnahan trying to hide it?”
Smith offered similar comments in the conference call. He said the complaint had been filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, which governs state political activity, and the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee.
Carnahan's camp replied:
"In 2006, Robin’s husband reserved a name with the State, thinking that he might want to create a business at some point in the future. He never formed a business, however. Consequently, there was no income to file on a disclosure report.
"This ham-handed effort at a political smear is a perfect example of the type of silly, unfounded, partisan, and untrue political attack that voters are tired of...."
Regardless of merit, ethics complaints have become almost standard during Missouri campaigns, with rival candidates and parties routinely accusing the opposition of some misdeed.
But the Ethics Commission -- made up of three Republicans and three Democrats -- tends to treat such filings like wallpaper. So far this week, the commission voted to dismiss 16 of 17 complaints filed in recent months. The panel said the dismissed complaints "were unsubstantiated."
Smith said he had "a great deal of respect for the Missouri Ethics Committee,'' and was confident that the party's complaint would be properly handled.