LD-10 Republican Doug Quelland Falsely Assailed by Dems & Republic


We’re not sure what to make of today’s article in the Arizona Republic hitting Doug Quelland for violating campaign finance laws. Mary Jo Pitzl is either demonstrating sloppy journalism or engaging in blatant misrepresentation. We will let our readers decide.

Recently re-elected conservative Republican, Doug Quelland, was hit with a campaign finance complaint filed by Democratic activist and precinct committeemen, Carol Vandercook. The complaint alleges that Quelland’s committee violated Clean Elections laws and limits and therefore warrants his removal from office.

Democrat incumbent, Jackie Thrasher, lost the seat to Quelland in the November 4th General Election in a rematch of the 2006 General Election in which Quelland lost the seat to Thrasher.

According to the article online,

At the heart of the complaint filed with the Clean Elections Commission and the Arizona Secretary of State is that Quelland, a Republican making a comeback bid for a House seat, hired a campaign consultant for $15,000 and failed to report it.

The suspected expenditure also exceeded the amount allowed under the state’s public-financing system. And because the consulting contract was signed seven weeks before Quelland officially filed to run for the Legislature, it could trigger a fine of three times the amount of the contract, or $45,000.

Specifically, Quelland is accused of not reporting the hiring of Larry Davis of Intermedia Public Relations in a contract in which Intermedia Public Relations was to provide consulting products and/or services to the Quelland campaign committee.

Quelland canceled the contract 48 hours after signing the contract because Davis proposed and encouraged Quelland to attack a member of Jackie Thrasher’s family over an incarceration. Quelland refused to engage in Davis’ negative campaign strategy and severed the committee’s contract with Intermedia Public Relations. Quelland asserts that he possesses a copy of the contractual termination document.

It is important to recognize that Quelland’s committee canceled the contract with Intermedia Public Relations before filing any paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office or Citizens’ Clean Election Commission. Even during the two-day period that the contract was under consideration or in effect, Quelland was not subject to the jurisdiction of the Citizens Clean Election Commission because the committee had not yet filed to become a participating candidate.

The mere fact that Quelland’s campaign committee was not under any contract with a vendor when he became a participating candidate makes the Vandercook complaint irrelevant and spurious.

But even if Quelland’s committee did conduct business with Larry Davis’ Intermedia Public Relations, an expenditure would have been reported on the committee’s campaign finance reports.

In reality, campaign finance reports reveal that the Quelland campaign committee made NO expenditures to Larry Davis nor Intermedia Public Relations. Instead, Quelland’s committee utilized the services of Discessio LLC which obviously contradicts claims that Intermedia was the consulting firm for the campaign.

Pitzl further reports that Larry Davis was contacted for the story and made the claim that he was Quelland’s campaign manager:

Davis, in a brief phone interview Tuesday, declined comment except to confirm that he was Quelland’s campaign manager through the Nov. 4 election.

When Quelland backed away from doing any business with Larry Davis, this severed any contractual relationship between Intermedia Public Relations and the Quelland Committee. Perhaps Davis falsely believes that no contract termination occurred and the original contract entitled him to the title of campaign manager despite the fact he performed no campaign management for the campaign during the entire election cycle? If Quelland’s copy of the contractual termination document exists, as he claims, Davis and Intermedia Public Relations was fired a long time ago and any relationship with Davis is irrelevant to any complaints filed with CCEC or the Secretary of State’s Office.

That leaves the text on Quelland campaign committee website as Pitzl points out:

However, Quelland’s campaign Web site, as of Tuesday afternoon, credits Davis’ company, Intermedia, for creating the site.

A review of the Quelland committee finance reports shows no expenditures to Larry Davis nor Intermedia Public Relations for website design or development. Why then does the website assign credit to Intermedia Public Relations? This is yet to be determined when the Quelland committee responds to the complaint within the five day period.

Returning to the origination of the complaint is another mystery. Democrat Carol Vandercook filed the complaint but has been resistant in disclosing details. Vandercook claims that she obtained details including a copy of the signed contract between Quelland and Davis from District 10 Democrats.

This leads some to speculate that Larry Davis may actually be the originator of the complaint. Davis may be spurned over Quelland’s decision to quickly back away from doing business with Intermedia who was willing to attack Thrasher’s imprisoned family member as part of the campaign strategy. Little else is known of Larry Davis other than what appears on the company website.

Quelland’s attorney and campaign committee are expected to respond to the complaints within the five-day period which ends on Saturday.


Comments

  1. Wooden Teeth says:

    In this explanation Quelland has broken the law, but which one? How about the one that says if you’re going to campaign for office you need to form a committee. You certainly need to form one before signing any contracts, whether you actually expend funds or not. Basically, you can’t do ANYTHING campaign-related without forming a committee, according to the statute.

    But, alas, we are not a nation of laws but of men. Go ahead and take down signs and you won’t be charged according to statute. Go ahead and fail to report correctly which candidate your IE targeted. Go ahead and spend lots of your personal money on your campaign but fail to report it to CCEC.

  2. Wait a minute. I have no idea what the truth of any of this and I dare say SA does not either. This is certainly Quelland’s side and may be correct. However, what is the “sloppy journalism” you claim Mary Jo Pitzl is guilty of. She reported on the complaint and also reported on Quelland’s attorney’s claim that the contract was nixed after 2 days. She contacted Davis and he disputes this claim. Just because she doesn’t take Quelland’s argument at face value – assuming she was even provide with it – does not make the article sloppy journalism.

  3. Duke the Dog says:

    Don’t worry Doug Q. With J-No out of the way, your friends in the GOP led legislature will set to work to dismantle the clean elections system, if Goldwater doesn’t stick a knife in it first.

    The CCEC is a pharse. The Dems madde a mockery of it in the Corporation Commission race and with the million + they and their union buddies spent on the legislative races.

    Kill this drain of taxpayer money.

  4. Wooden Teeth and Todd are both spot on here. Quelland obviously admitted to signing a contract nearly two months before he had a campaign committee, which is a blatant violation of the law. I’ve seen the CCEC complaint, which included the contract — I wonder if Quelland paid the $2000 deposit required by the contract and, if so, with what money?

    As to the reporting, this was anything but the paper “assailing” Mr Q. The fact is that a complaint was filed. Period. The story relates that, explains it and attempts to get comments from the players in the matter. If DQ deosn’t want to talk to the press about it, it doesn’t mean anything they write is attacking him. I learned long ago from reporter friends that stories don’t die in a reporter’s notebook if you dno’t want to talk: they just don’t inlcude your side of things.

  5. This clearly falls outside of the jurisdiction of the CCEC because Quelland’s committee had not signed on under CCEC’s agreement. Therefore, the issue has nothing to do with CCEC and the CCEC cannot pursue removing Quelland from office because no law was violated under CCEC and Quelland.

    That makes the complaint an issue under Title 16 and the Secretary of State’s Office. However, if no campaign committee existed at the time the contract was signed and the contract was between IPR and Quelland, then there is likely an issue. At that point, the contract comes under scrutiny and whether it was really a contract or a proposal.

    Keep in mind that Quelland may have had another committee open at that time and it may have overlapped with the current committee. Timing may be everything.

  6. Once again, Constantine Querard is involved (DiCessio)

  7. Wooden Teeth says:

    Quelland “signing on” to CCEC is irrelevant, he still (according to the issues posted above) would be in violation. CCEC does not have it’s jurisdiction restricted to CE candidates. Any traditional candidate running against a CE candidate can/has to comply with the rules/laws.

    Whether the committee existed or not is also irrelevant. If more than one person was working together to influence the outcome of the election, that’s a de facto committee, registered or not. Not registering is on problem, not reporting expenditures is another.

    It’s like driving drunk, without a license. You don’t go to court and claim you can’t have violated the “drivers license law” because you didn’t have a license.

  8. All candidates run as traditional candidates by default. They can not become a Clean Elections candidate unless they specifically file as such.

  9. TIm Johnson says:

    Quelland says he fired the firm with in 24 hours. If that is the case, why then when I went down to the Secretary State’s office on Friday, were there several “nominating petitions” for Mr. Quelland with several names of people from that firm well after he supposedly fired them? I think that Quelland is quite dishonest and I think he staged the whole thing anticipating he might lose and this would give him the chance to play the victim much like he did when he lost his last race. Except then, he blamed the Speaker for throwing him under the bus.

  10. I have known Carol Vandercook for a couple of decades and, if she says there is a problem with a politico,you can take that to the bank! All I see here in this article is the same whiney, little, sore losers spewing out venom to mask their faulty candidate. It is time for Arizona to wake up! The republican party does not have ANYONE the calibre of Barry Goldwater in its ranks so, why not give the Dems a chance to FIX OUR PROBLEMS?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Here’s an update (thanks to Gila Courier) on a post we brought you late last year regarding State Representative Doug Quelland. (”LD-10 Republican Doug Quelland Falsely Assailed by Dems & Republic“) [...]

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