Tims campaign files ethics and FEC complaints against Turner

Democrat Desiree Tims is challenging Republican incumbent Mike Turner for the 10th District congressional seat.

Democrat Desiree Tims filed complaints against U.S. Mike Turner with the Office of Congressional Ethics and Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday, alleging the Republican “converted campaign funds for his personal use.”

The complaint raises questions about a $295.61 expenditure at the Hotel Brussels in Belgium on Dec. 26, 2019; a $220.81 expenditure at Nobu restaurant in London on Feb. 15, 2018; $330.29 in “event tickets” on Dec. 28, 2016, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; $4,727 spent at “fashionable restaurants” since 2017.

ExploreTurner campaign spends $90,000 on travel, meals in 3.5 years

The Tims campaign wants the Office of Congressional Ethics and the FEC to conduct investigations into whether these expenditures were for campaign activities or official purposes.

Members of Congress are allowed to use campaign money for campaign and official business. Turner said that he spent campaign money to reach out to other members of Congress, which he argues “is essential to advocate and promote the community and secure many of the projects that I’ve worked on at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.”

Previously, Turner said all of the spending consists of “valid, legal, and publicly reported expenses.”

ExploreTurner accuses Tims of campaign violations

Earlier this month, Turner accused Tims of being paid illegally via the Ohio Democratic Party. The Turner campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission.

FEC rules permit campaigns to pay the candidates salaries as a way to make it possible for people of modest means to run for Congress. The payment can’t exceed the lessor of what the candidate earned the prior year or what the job being sought pays.

The Tims campaign said it made contributions to the state party, which acted as a payroll administrator.

The Turner campaign last week filed a second FEC complaint, saying that the Tims campaign failed to include required disclaimers in three of its TV ads.

“This is Desiree Tims’s attempt to further hide that she has been illegally paid to run for Congress, as well as her response to our second FEC complaint we filed against her last week. Her campaign has repeatedly failed to comply with FEC requirements. Our campaign’s expenses are all valid, legal and publicly reported. This is just a political stunt,” said Turner campaign manager Mason DiPalma in a written release.

The back-and-forth between the two sides illustrates how contentious the race is.

Tims, 32, a political newcomer, is trying to unseat Turner, 60, an 18-year incumbent. The 10th Congressional District, which leans Republican, includes Montgomery, Greene and Fayette counties.

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