Sunday, August 19, 2007

Waltz duo controls $189,000 in war chests

should Ward Crutchfield and Chris Newton be able to control the $189k still left in the campaign accounts after their convictions?


Two former state legislators convicted in the FBI's Operation Tennessee Waltz bribery sting have more than $189,000 combined in their campaign accounts and by law can donate it to charities and political campaigns and organizations.

In the two years following his May 2005 indictment, former Sen. Ward Crutchfield, D-Chattanooga, contributed almost $14,000 to political campaigns and the Hamilton County Democratic Party, according to campaign financial disclosure statements.

Mr. Crutchfield, who resigned his Senate seat Aug. 6, has $172,173 in cash on hand, the largest amount of the convicted five former legislators, according to a July campaign filing.

On Friday, Mr. Crutchfield declined to discuss his plans for the remaining money.

"I'm not ready to make a statement," he said.

Former Rep. Chris Newton, R-Cleveland, contributed $1,200 to Republican Party organizations in Meigs and Polk counties, statements show. Mr. Newton made those donations after his 2005 indictment in the federal investigation. Disclosure forms show he has $17,523 in cash on hand.