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Government, Politics & Issues

Martin files FEC complaint over attack website

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 29, 2010 - Republican congressional candidate Ed Martin announced today that he has filed an FEC complaint against U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, claiming that Carnahan's campaign was involved in the creation of an anti-Martin website.

Martin also released a copy of the complaint. Carnahan's campaign denies any part of the site, therealedmartin.com, and calls the complaint the equivalent of a "nuisance lawsuit."

The website accuses Martin of failing to do enough during his tenure with the St. Louis Archdiocese to take appropriate action regarding pedophile priests. As head of the archdiocese's Office of Human Rights, Martin sat on its governing board, called the Curia. He says he had no involvement in the handling of priests.

The site was created by two researchers who previously did work for the Carnahan campaign, but who split over the matter of how much to press Martin on the priest issue. Carnahan's campaign has denied any knowledge or involvement in the web site. The researchers agree.

Martin's complaint alleges that the earlier payments to the researchers, Michael Corwin and Jeannine Dillon, were for the website work. The complaint also cites comments by a Carnahan activist on Facebook about the priest issue prior to the website's emergence.

Martin asserts in the complaint that Carnahan's involvement means that the website should have had the required "paid for by" required by the FEC on all campaign literature, ads or online activities produced by a campaign. The website states that it is the work solely of the researchers.

Martin issued a news release Friday on his action, but was not otherwise available to the press. As he has previously, Martin asserted that the website was an "anti-Catholic smear tactic."

Carnahan campaign spokeswoman Angela Guyadeen said the complaint was "not surprising from a guy who brags about filing 'nuisance lawsuits.' The fact is, we have been completely transparent about the fact that we had nothing to do with the posting of this website. The only person who has refused to answer questions about this is Ed Martin. It's a simple question that deserves a clear yes or no answer: Did you know what was going on, Ed?"

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