The complaint alleges that Independent Party of Delaware candidate Alex Pires misused staff and resources from several bars, night clubs and restaurants he owns to promote his candidacy.
The complaint, formally filed today with the Federal Elections Commission, accuses Pires of using his businesses in the Delaware beach area to fund his campaign. “From using his business as a campaign piggy bank to failing to disclose that his campaign committee is responsible for political advertising, Alex’s campaign reflects his footloose past,” said Executive Director of the Delaware Democratic Party Joe Aronson.
The FEC complaint accuses Pires of “flagrantly and repeatedly” violating FEC regulations. They say Pires’ website and public communication “do not include a disclaimer stating the communications were paid for by Alex Pires for Senate.” The complaint urges the FEC to immediately investigate allegations and fine the Pires campaign the maximum amount allowed by law.
When reached for comment, Pires said he had not seen the complaint and would wait to comment until he had looked at the accusations. After viewing the complaint, Pires released a statement to WHYY making a series of personal attacks against Senator Carper. In response to the complaint he said, “In retaliation, he complains to the FEC that I gave three older ladies pieces of chicken from Jimmy’s Grill.”
Pires’ Senate campaign against incumbent Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat, has been fairly rugged by Delaware standards. Pires has made Senator Carper’s health an issue in the campaign, claiming he’s in very poor health. Carper brushed off the accusations, calling them “hogwash” and saying “it’s laughable” in an interview that will air this Friday night at 5:30 on WHYY’s First.
Carper calls the campaign bizarre, “I’ve never seen a campaign waged by any person in the years i’ve been in Delaware this ugly, this really vicious.” He says he’s learned from former Delaware Congressman Mike Castle, who loss to Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell in the 2010 primary, not to take any challenger lightly.