Sunday, April 27, 2003

I was wondering about that
One hears so many outrageous tales of hijinkery that one tends to become jaded. I had forgotten about the Rev. Al's latest until I spotted this NY Post editorial today - The Rules Apply to Rev. Al:
April 27, 2003 -- Rev. Al Sharpton "officially" became a presidential candidate last week.

What's that you say? Hasn't he been running for weeks, participating in presidential debates and referring to himself as a candidate?

The answer is yes.

Which is why the Federal Election Commission thought it a little odd that - of all the nine announced Democratic candidates for the presidency - only Sharpton had failed to file the legally required campaign-finance statements.
Maybe his dog ate them?
Sharpton's campaign tried to contend that he wasn't really a candidate yet: He was still in the "exploratory" mode.

Until last week's announcement.

This was - to be polite - baloney.

FEC rules state that an individual has crossed the line from exploration to running when he "makes or authorizes written or oral statements that refer to him or her as a candidate for a particular office."

Which Sharpton had done by attending the candidate forums and referring to himself as a "Democratic presidential candidate."

So, was it sloth or deceit that caused Sharpton to delay filing?
I tend never to ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence, but we're talking the Rev. Al here.
The fact is, anyone who has been watching Al Sharpton for the last 20 years is hardly surprised by any of these shenanigans.

Sharpton has never been candid about where his personal money comes from - particularly when he was fighting the Tawana Brawley-related defamation lawsuit from former prosecutor Steven Pagones.

Sharpton hasn't even been candid as to where he lives - is it New Jersey or Brooklyn?

Previous runs for office have ended with suspicious fires in his campaign office just before he was supposed to make public his financial information.

(That changed this year - the fire broke out at Sharpton HQ at the beginning of the campaign.)
The real question is whether the FEC will really do anything about this chisler. And it will be interesting to see if any of the other Democrat candidates have enough gumption to even mention it. Stay tuned for the next episode in the Rev. Al show - he claims that he will be releasing a financial statement tomorrow.

Hmm, maybe it will be written in crayon on a Big Chief tablet?