We have learned two things about Roy Herron from the way he handled this week's campaign financial disclosure, his first official act as a candidate for governor:
(1) He's a sneaky little devil who doesn't mind misleading the public and
(2) He's got a rat in Mike McWherter's campaign.
Regarding the latter point, how else would Herron know for a fact that McWherter was about to announce raising $650,000 for his campaign? Herron's spy nailed it and tipped Herron, leading the senator to announce not $356,000, which is what he actually raised, or $608,000 which is what he raised counting the cash transferred from his Senate campaign, but "more than $650,000." To make it to that magic number, Herron had to count roughly $40,000 from his Senate account that he'd already spent on campaign expenses.
According to the Registry of Election Finance, Herron contends he spent that $40,000 not on gubernatorial campaign costs (that would be illegal) but on generic consulting fees that could have been attributed to a Senate campaign if he was running for that office again, which he isn't. Whatever. "It's a semantics thing," the Registry's Drew Rawlins tells Pith
Indeed it is. A little too obviously, Herron was trying to snooker the media into reporting that he'd matched McWherter's fundraising. It worked for a little while too. To help in this deception, his flack, some twerp named Michael Lamb, refused to call back reporters on the day of Herron's press release, the better to avoid answering pesky questions. (At least, Lamb didn't call back Pith
. When he finally did return our call, he said he'd been "out of town" the day before. Ha!) Kudos to A.C. Kleinheider
for getting to the bottom of this.
Sean Braisted calls
it "creative accounting that would make an Enron executive blush" and predicts reporters will give closer scrutiny to what Herron says in the future. That's a polite way of saying that we now see Herron as a snake and can't wait to slap him around. Pith
is proud to go first.