Tschumper radio ads subject of campaign law complaint

Ken Tschumper, a DFL candidate running against Republican Rep. Greg Davids for the state House, is under the microscope at the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Doug Baker, who is chairman of the Fillmore County GOP, filed the complaint on Aug. 7 alleging that Tschumper, who represented the La Crescent area in the House between 2007 and 2008, paid for a radio campaign ad with corporate dollars but included a disclaimer on the ad that they were paid for by the Tschumper campaign.

Baker contends that both actions represent a violation of campaign finance law.

The complaint includes a photocopy of a check made out to KFIL FM from Precision Plus, Inc., for $224. It’s a firm owned by Dennis DeKeyrel, who is chairman of the Fillmore County DFL and Tschumper’s campaign manager.

DeKeyrel described how it is that Precision Plus ended up paying for the radio spot:

On Aug. 1, DeKeyrel went to KFIL to extend a radio ad run and record some new spots in his role as Tschumper’s campaign manager. The radio station needed to be paid immediately, and DeKeyrel only had his business checks on hand.

So, he cut a check from his business account to pay for the spots. On Aug. 9, DeKeyrel deposited a reimbursement from the Tschumper campaign for $224. The check from KFIL didn’t clear his business account until Aug. 21, DeKeyrel said.

“I didn’t think about it at the time,” DeKeyrel said.

Baker declined to comment on the complaint.

The Office of Administrative Hearings can take a number of actions, ranging from dismissing the matter to issuing a civil penalty up to $5,000. The office can also refer the complaint to a county attorney for criminal proceedings.

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