By Joel Hall
The campaign to re-elect U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga) has what it believes is evidence that his Republican challenger, Deborah Honeycutt, failed to disclose the purchase of negative advertising tied to the Democrats for Good Government, an unregistered political committee based in Clayton County.
Honeycutt did not return calls Wednesday, but her husband, Andrew, who also is her campaign administrator did. He said the campaign has done nothing wrong and believes the FEC complaint filed by the Scott campaign is based on "unsubstantiated evidence.
"We're not trying to hide anything," said Andrew Honeycutt. "It seems that he [Scott] is protected from people looking into some of the things he has done. [Accusations of corruption are] not something we created, but something he is running from.
"He is just using the media to do a job campaigning that he can't do himself."
On Tuesday, lawyers for the David Scott for Congress campaign filed an official complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Honeycutt for what they believe to be "direct and serious violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act."
In the complaint, the Scott campaign accuses the Honeycutt campaign of failing to disclose a $1,385.75 purchase of 25,000, double-sided, 3.5 inch by 8.5 inch "Corrupt" David Scott fliers, said to paid for by Democrats For Good Government, an anti-David Scott organization headed by Riverdale-based web designer David Knox.
Included in the complaint is an Aug. 26, 2008 invoice from Boston, Mass.-based 48HourPrint.com in which Andrew Honeycutt, the husband of Deborah Honeycutt, was billed the full $1,385.75 for the fliers. The invoice provided to the Clayton News Daily listed the blind shipping address as 2326 Nicole Drive in Hampton, a former address of Knox. The fliers themselves were shipped to "David Knox, 118 North Avenue, Suite A, in Jonesboro."
Michael Andel, spokesperson for the Scott campaign, said the purchase is a direct violation of FEC rules because the Honeycutt campaign failed to communicate the purchase in its October quarterly disclosure form. He believes the fliers are an attempt by Honeycutt "to hoodwink the voters into thinking that she's a Democrat.
Andel said the Scott campaign recently received the invoice from an unnamed source. The Clayton News Daily independently verified the invoice number with 48HourPrint.com and confirmed that the flier purchase was billed to 160 Deer Forest Trail, Fayetteville, Ga. The Fayette County Clerk of Superior Court confirmed that the address belongs to Andrew Honeycutt and D. Ann Travis, Deborah Honeycutt's maiden name.
"I have not seen a copy of this invoice," Honeycutt said.
"Money has been blowing in that direction," said Andel. "If you are a candidate and you work with a certain party, then you have to disclose that. These laws came out of Watergate. We can't even go to Staples without having to disclose that, because that is when corruption happens ... when money just flows and they have no idea where it is coming from."
On Tuesday, Knox admitted to previously renting property at 2326 Nicole Drive in Hampton. He also admitted to putting out Scott attack advertisements, as well as the anti-Scott Web site, www.voteoutdavidscott.com, but denies having any involvement with Honeycutt's campaign.
"I am not connected to this, I didn't pay them for it, and they didn't pay me for it," said Knox. "I have contacted the FEC and they have said that I have the right to publish whatever I want as a private citizen. They said that I could publish whatever I wanted to, as long as I wasn't working with the campaign, which I have not.
"David Scott is a corrupt politician and that is another reason that I am running against him as a Democrat," said Knox.
In June, Honeycutt told the Clayton News Daily that "myself, my campaign staff and my workers have nothing to do with Democrats for Good Government."
However, a disclosure report filed on July 5 for the July 15 primary show two May 7 purchases - one for $275 and one for $200 -- made to DK Intermedia, a Web design company owned by Knox.
Andel believes Honeycutt needs to "come clean" about any ties her campaign has to Knox and Democrats for Good Government.
"Our folks are running into some voters in Clayton County and they have said that they don't even know that she is a Republican," said Andel. "It's an attempt to say that these Democrats don't like David Scott. [The fliers are] really targeted towards African-American neighborhoods, which I think is very cynical.
"She should spend more time talking about her being a doctor instead of trying to hide her party," said Andel.