Sid Leiken tearfully admits to bogus transaction report

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

090821leikenTrying to stave off a criminal investigation, OR-4 congressional candidate and Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken tearfully admitted failing to properly document a $2000 transaction from his campaign to his mother. From the Register-Guard:

“Rather than try to justify or prove my innocence, I will say this: I didn’t document (an expenditure) transaction correctly,” he said, facing television cameras in the parking lot of his private office. ...

At Friday’s news conference, Leiken teared up when discussing his regrets with regard to the case.

“I apologize to my constituents,” he said, his throat tightening. “And most importantly, I apologize to my family that somehow I created a shadow of doubt by this unfortunate transaction.”

Leiken also told reporters that he's returning $2000 to his state campaign committee to reverse the transaction.

Of course, reversing the transaction isn't likely to end the investigation by the Elections Division.

Ten days ago, Glenda Leiken missed a deadline to turn over documents to the Elections Division. The elections division extended the deadline to August 26, but warned her that failure to comply would result in a referral to the Department of Justice. (PDF, 47k)

According to the R-G, Leiken showed reporters his mother's response to the Elections Division:

In the letter, [Glenda] Leiken said she could not provide the documents the agency had asked for. “There was no written contract between my son and me. This poll was informational survey to understand how his constituents felt about an additional Gas Tax. Unfortunately this transaction was completed in cash....

“I apologize for the delay in responding to your requests for information. I was under the impression that if I had no further documentation, no response was required.”

Let's just recap:

And now, in an attempt to turn back the clock, Leiken is returning $2000 to his campaign account. It is, in essence, an unspoken admission that this was not a legitimate transaction.

If you steal a car and go for a joyride, you don't get off the hook if you return it the next day.

By the same token, just because Leiken is transferring the money back, it doesn't mean there wasn't a very questionable transaction here.

The Elections Division should continue its investigation, and - if appropriate - refer this to the Department of Justice.

And this guy thinks he's a top-tier candidate for Congress?

Read more at KVAL, KMTR, KEZI, and the Register-Guard.

Previously on BlueOregon:

  • fbear (unverified)

    And this guy thinks he's a top-tier candidate for Congress?

    It turns out he's just a tops-in-tears candidate.

  • (Show?)

    Great journalism, Kari. Now if you could find out who paid for those anti-Sam-Adams-recall telephone polls, and ask why they've never been reported anywhere, that would also be really helpful.

  • Josh Reynolds (unverified)

    KVAL has the actual statement in its entirety. The only time he teared up is when he felt he let his family down. By the way, isn't Glenda Leiken a straight ticket voting democrat. Isn't she the daughter-in-law of one of Peter DeFazio's mentors?

  • LaWanda (unverified)

    [Racist crap deleted - editor.]<!--theez republican unedjekated politishans gonna neveer lern

    dey do dat stuff all da time

    we need to elect more dems to da state-->

  • springfield and proud (unverified)

    Choking up in the middle of a public speech is nothing new for Sid, it is part of his usual repetoire when the subject he is talking about gets tough. He is like a less vitriolic Glen Beck. It's pretty annoying.

  • George Anonymuncule Seldes (unverified)

    I personally think that he is, indeed, a top-tier GOP candidate. Among the best they've got.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)

    Another one bites the dust...

  • (Show?)

    "By the way, isn't Glenda Leiken a straight ticket voting democrat. "

    I don't have any idea, and neither do you. We still have secret ballot in this country.

    Moreover, I don't care. What, you think being a Democrat would make everything ok? You're more delusional than Sid.

  • Anonymous (unverified)

    Shame he didn't drive drunk and kill a campaign worker -- then Blue Oregon would defend him and he could be the senior senator from Mass.

  • (Show?)

    You know there's no response when they play the Chappaquiddick card.

  • Finngall (unverified)

    And this guy thinks he's a top-tier candidate for Congress?

    Given how weak the GOP bench is around here, he actually still is top-tier by comparison.

  • spiegel (unverified)

    Kari - Thanks for following this issue.

    This entire scandal is indicative of the sense of entitlement rich republicans exhibit. My guess is that if someone does a little investigating they would find Sid has played fast and loose with the rules his entire life.

    Even hiring the republican go-to attorney DiLorenzo couldn't help Sid push this toothpaste back into the tube. All he accomplished with this whole affair was to blow his run at DeFazio's seat and drag his mother into a public scandal.

    One question remains, why did Sid need the $2,000.00 in the first place? Mistress (or mister)? Hooker? Gambling debt? Drugs? Blackmailer?

  • fomerPDXer (unverified)

    No tears lost for this guy, but man, stories like this make me miss Oregon. It's so cute what counts as scandal and corruption there.

    In my new home state of Rhode Island, this wouldn't even make a local blog, let alone TV. Now if the guy had illegally sold off a 100 acre state park to his brother in law the real estate developer for a buck-fifty, that might be newsworthy. Or if he'd had state police beat the crap out of a dude who was messing with the pol's mistress, as our former mayor did -- and went on to a landslide reeelction afterwards! Or the state Supreme Court Chief Justice who want to the slammer for, among other things, personally embezzleing the money from bar exam fees!

  • (Show?)

    Actually, Sid did not "admit" to a "bogus transaction" and his agreement to pay back the $2,000 is not "an unspoken admission that this was not a legitimate transaction."

    Obviously, no one thinks this was a sterling moment for Sid or his campaign, but that is no reason for you to misrepresent it, Kari.

  • fbear (unverified)


    If it was a legitimate transaction, why did Sid pay back the money?

    I think Kari got it exactly right--it was an unspoken admission that this was not legitimate.

  • mp97303 (unverified)

    Actually, Sid did not "admit" to a "bogus transaction" and his agreement to pay back the $2,000 is not "an unspoken admission that this was not a legitimate transaction."

    Actions speak louder than words!

  • Derrick Kitts (unverified)

    Kate Brown and I wrote the 2005 ethics bill during the 2005 legislative session. The bill was in large part a product of the need for more disclosure; and the actions of one state representative. That same stae representative ended up serving jail time for actions similar to the actions being written about here on Blue Oregon.

    As a result of the ethics regulations passed in 2005, the legislature tightened up reporting of contributions and expenditures by members of the body. Also, the laws regarding disclosure of ANY money spent on members by outside sources was tightened up as well. The measures do not specify the amount of the disclosures that are ok to misrepresent??? (there are none) In fact the disclosures were designed to invoke more transparancy in the process. Kate Brown will investigate this and it should not be deemed a partisan attack, rather maintaining the public trust.

    (Full disclosure, I myself in 2004 forgot to report a trip on my own disclosure form, and was fined by the ethics commission, along with many members of the body)

    Accidents happen, but accidents are not covered up. Kate Brown will do as she sees fit and will act with the interest of Oregon first.

  • (Show?)

    Jack Roberts wrote: Actually, Sid did not "admit" to a "bogus transaction"

    Good thing, then, that I didn't write that. What I wrote was that he "tearfully admits to bogus transaction report" - which is exactly accurate, assuming that the R-G reported his words accurately.

    The R-G quoted Sid thusly: "I didn’t document (an expenditure) transaction correctly"

    Now, as to whether paying it back is an unspoken admission that it wasn't a legitimate transaction, well, I suppose that's a matter of opinion. I think that's obvious -- otherwise, there would be no need to return the money to the campaign. But I suppose his defenders might argue that it's a bit like pleading "no contest" - ending the trial without admitting guilt. Too bad that won't work here.

  • (Show?)

    Okay, Kari, I'll admit your headline is ambiguous and that I interpreted "bogus" as modifying "transaction" whereas you apparently mean "bogus" to refer to "report."

    There is still the issue of the word "bogus," defined by the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as "not legitimate; conterfeit; sham" when in fac all he admitted was that he "did not document the transaction accurately," which is different.

    If you're going to claim that what Sid admitted to was a "bogus" report, then you would also have to admit that most candidates have, at one time or another, had a "bogus" contribution and expenditure report at one time or another.

    I shouldn't be complaining, though. By overstating the case, you've just given Sid opportunity to say--accurately--that the Democrats are misrepresenting what happened for political purposes, so everyone gets to believe whatever they want to believe.

    In other words, politics as usual.

  • fbear (unverified)

    Sid seems to have issues with his mother.

    I was just cleaning out some old email when I came across an exchange I had with him last year regarding a comment he made on a blog, stating that leading up the the 2000 election Al Gore had a sizable lead in the polls.

    I sent him an email showing most of the polls had it as a close race leading up to the election, and Sid replied with "Thank you. That was information coming from my mother."

    It seems as though Sid has issues around polling and his mother.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)

    DeFazio lucks out again! I think the Republicans are by now congenitally unable to come up with a plausible candidate in that district.

    Which is too bad, because if there is any D in Oregon's congressional delegation that deserves to lose, with his "progressive" demagoguery and especially his destructive economic positions re: free trade, it is Peter DeFazio.

  • fred friendly (unverified)

    Great journalism, Kari. Now if you could find out who paid for those anti-Sam-Adams-recall telephone polls, and ask why they've never been reported anywhere, that would also be really helpful.

    Um, you can't do this yourself, Mr Bogdanski? This posting is somehow illegitimate because Kari hasn't been your errand boy?

    By the way, I wondering why Mr Bogdanski has failed to write a single word on his blog about the printer who has offered to provide free business cards, letterhead and No. 10 size envelopes for any business that wants to update its stationery to reflect the newly named Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard. I mean, wasn't the cost of these things one of the arguments that Team Bogdanski was flogging in opposing any street renaming? Perhaps operates on the same principle as the New York Times: "All the news that's fit to print unless we find it ideologically objectionable."

  • Olivia Leiken-Schmierer (unverified)

    Sid Leiken, Mayor of Springfield

    Those of us who share the same last name as the Mayor, but are not part of his immediate family have been watching the on going story of the Mayor's alleged shady campaign fund expenditures with growing dismay! While we have nothing to do with the Mayor's side of the family, the investigation still damages our name. This is especially true of my father, he is the Mayor's grandfather, and they share the same name.
    My father is ninety-three. He came to Oregon as a member of the 3 C's during the great depression, and eventually settled in Douglas County. He has spent his life as an honest hardworking businessman. He also served honorably four terms in the Oregon State Legislature from 1960 thru 1968, which has been called "The Golden Era Of The Oregon Legislature". He was highly respected by both sides of the aisle. We feel after spending all those years establishing his good name in the state of Oregon his name has now been tarnished. We are very proud of my father and can see he has been badly hurt! In full disclosure we are life long Democrats, but this has no influence on our feelings regarding this matter.

                        Olivia Leiken Schmierer
                        Cary Schmierer

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