Promises of a clean campaign got a little sullied Wednesday as the respective camps of 3rd District Republican hopefuls Karl Snow and John Harmer launched their first soiled salvos.
Snow, stating that he has nothing to hide from voters, asked the state GOP to review his personal finances so that he can be cleared of assertions and innuendos supposedly made by Harmer. Harmer's campaign manager, however, denies that Harmer has asserted anything regarding Snow's finances.Meanwhile, former 3rd District congressional candidate Steve Densley is calling on state GOP Chairman Richard Snelgrove to conduct an independent audit of the financial dealings of both Harmer and Snow.
Harmer, who went through bankruptcy in 1981 and recently faced two civil lawsuits, is making assertions to Republican leaders that Snow has had financial problems similar to his own, Snow says.
"I am terribly disappointed in Mr. Harmer for spreading innuendos about my personal finances, the very thing he had accused others of doing in relationship to his past and recent legal problems," Snow said.
"Such action is anything but clean campaigning. Mr. Harmer is endeavoring to lessen the gravity of his own situation by suggesting I have had problems similar to his."
Mickey Cochran, Harmer's campaign manager, said Snow shouldn't be so quick to believe everything he hears.
"Karl Snow has a habit of listening to what other people have said that we said. He should contact us first in the future," he said.
"There are no financial difficulties that we have known Karl Snow to have had," Cochran added. "It's not coming from this camp."
Still, Snow said, he is willing to share his personal financial information with the Republican Party, and he has submitted a recent credit report and mortgage-lender review of his finances prepared this spring in connection with the purchase of a home from his mother's estate.
"I challenge Mr. Harmer to do likewise and refrain from further innuendos," Snow said. "I have filed with the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives the required disclosure of personal finances showing all of my assets and obligations."
The only bankruptcy Snow has been involved in, he said, is as a creditor, not as a debtor. "The only similarity here is that, like Mr. Harmer, the debtor in my case was cited with having filed fraudulent information."
Snow said he is disappointed that he must spend valuable campaign time defending his financial record. Cochran said he is disappointed that Snow is seeking "cheap publicity."
To clear the air, Densley suggests that tax returns from both candidates from the past 10 years be made public and that an independent council be allowed to research and question the candidates' past business and campaign dealings.
"I would personally like to withhold my support from either candidate until an audit is conducted or the candidates respond to the request," he said. "The personal integrity of a representative coming from the most Republican district in the nation should be unquestionable."