Another treasurer leaves O'Donnell campaign

Frequent turnover could raise questions at the Federal Election Commission about her financial reporting

Published October 28, 2010 9:18PM (EDT)

Delaware Republican Christine O'Donnell has parted ways with yet another campaign treasurer and appointed her campaign manager as her fifth treasurer since launching her bid for Senate last year.

Campaign finance experts say the turnover is unusual and could raise questions at the Federal Election Commission about her financial reporting. O'Donnell began with relatively small donations but has been taking in nearly $1 million a week after winning the GOP primary last month.

The latest treasurer to leave is Sandra Taylor, who began just two months ago. Campaign manager Matt Moran is now listed as treasurer in reports filed earlier this month.

Taylor could not be reached and O'Donnell's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) -- Despite a spate of television ads aimed at reintroducing her to voters, Republican Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell of Delaware has failed to chip away at Democratic nominee Chris Coons' strong lead, according to a new poll. She even may be going backward.

The survey released Thursday from Fairleigh Dickinson University-PublicMind shows Coons holding a commanding 21-point lead, with 57 percent of likely voters saying they will vote for him compared to just 36 percent for O'Donnell. O'Donnell trailed by 17 points in a similar Fairleigh Dickinson poll released earlier this month.

"It would be an historic comeback for her to win on Tuesday," said Dan Cassino, a Fairleigh Dickinson political scientist.

Cassino said O'Donnell, a tea party favorite who spent years as a conservative evangelical commentator on cable television, would probably win in other states that have more social conservatives and a larger tea party presence.

"But there just aren't enough in Delaware," he said.

O'Donnell, who has raised more money than Coons, has been dogged by past television appearances in which she spoke out against masturbation, characterized homosexuality as a disorder, and acknowledged dabbling in various religions, including witchcraft as a teenager. She also has drawn criticism for her thin resume and spotty financial history.

Her first television ad sought to remake her image, showing her calm and soft-spoken while declaring: "I'm not a witch ... I'm you." The ad has become something of a rallying cry among critics such as Josh Schmidt, 26, who was spotted in a truck in Wilmington this week with a sign reading, "O'Donnell is not me."

"She does not represent Delaware," said Schmidt, who runs a shipping business.

The latest survey of 797 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 20-26 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Coons and O'Donnell are running for the Senate seat long held by Vice President Joe Biden.

The race has been particularly frustrating for Republicans because it was heavily favored as a GOP victory until O'Donnell upset congressman and former Gov. Mike Castle in the party primary.



By Ben Evans


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