Erwin's Radio Activity
Yesterday I discussed the campaign finance scandal that is starting to swirl around State Sen Hank Erwin (R-Montevallo). Erwin appeared on the Matt Murphy radio program to try and defend some of the eyebrow raising expenses listed on his campaign finance disclosures. I did not hear the interview, but I've talked to those who have who don't think Erwin did himself much good. I hope to be able to link to an audio version of the interview at some point over the next few days. But until then I'll just hit a couple of the highlights.
Erwin was pressed on his use of campaign money to finance an October 2002 trip to Israel. Of course, as Erwin is still serving his first term in the legislature, not only had he not been sworn in as of October 2002 but also hadn't even been elected. Erwin defended the Israel jaunt as a "fact finding trip" and effort to bring "nano technology" to Alabama.
Also discussed was $2400 worth of contributions (from Erwin's campaign fund) to purchase tickets to Bob Riley's inaugural ball. According to Erwin he dispersed these tickets (approx 20) to unpaid campaign volunteers. However, this was disputed later in the program when revealed that Erwin gave tickets to an individual he had paid $500 to during the campaign.
One additional topic of conversation was Erwin's use of his campaign warchest to purchase Alabama and Auburn football tickets. Erwin defended these expenses as a constituent service. Apparently, Erwin would distribute these tickets to constituents upon request. So next time you need Iron Bowl tickets, give your state legislator a call.
Those are just a few of the issues discussed during the interview and I hope to be able to link to a copy of the real thing in the next few days.