The lawyer for Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Bob Brady says federal authorities have it wrong when they claim he paid $90,000 from his campaign fund to get an opponent out of the 2012 Democratic primary for his seat.
Attorney Jim Eisenhower says the feds are mistaking a legitimate payment for a campaign poll for something shady.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said in court filings that in 2012, Brady and his opponent, Jimmie Moore agreed Moore would withdraw from the race and that Brady would provide $90,000 in campaign funds to retire Moore’s campaign debt.
The feds say the payment was concealed from regulators through payments to Brady’s consultants, who forwarded the money to a company created by Carolyn Cavaness, then a staffer for Moore who has now pleaded guilty.
In a telephone interview Brady’s attorney, Jim Eisenhower, said Brady’s campaign paid for a poll Moore’s campaign had conducted, and that’s why all that cash from his campaign fund went to the consultants.
“So that’s really the explanation for all this, we think the government is just confused here,” Eisenhower said. “We’re confident that at the end of the day they’ll understand the case and the Congressman will continue on.”
In another court filing, prosecutors make it clear they know about the poll, and don’t regard it as a legitimate explanation for the payments from Brady’s campaign fund.
The filing, the guilty plea memorandum for Cavaness, says the poll Brady is supposed to have paid for was more than a year old, that Brady’s campaign paid more than twice what it cost to conduct, and that Brady had already had a copy of it months before any of this happened.
Eisenhower said the poll was far more detailed than a typical campaign survey and had information which would be valuable to Brady in future races.
He said the payment was to secure exclusive rights to the poll.
Brady has not been charged. Eisenhower said the Congressman had spoken with the FBI and is cooperating with authorities.
Eisenhower’s explanation and the government’s response was first reported in the Inquirer.