disclose, denny

Friday, February 17, 2006

is Hastert bamboozling?

Here's an important update to my post about Hastert's response to CREW's claim (i also posted an update in that post):

the amazing miguel in the comments notes that:
"The report does not quote the assistant treasurer as saying "70% of funds", it says "70% of contributions". In other words, 70% of the contributors were at these annual events. But 70% of contributers contributing an average of..let's say $25 per person..is less then the 30% of contributors who contribute $199/person."
(NB - on revision of the original letter, I've just noticed that it actually says "70% of THE contributions")

I'm *kicking* myself TWICE. once for making the transcription error, and twice for falling for it. Miguel is correct - the way Hastert framed the sentence could mean either a) 'funds' (aka 'gross contributions') or b) 'contributors'. Most probably the latter.

The question then becomes whether the language was intended to be misleading in the context of CREW's filing (even while being technically correct). If Hastert's claim doesn't speak to the heart of the issue, then why would they include it as evidence against that claim?

Here is the language:
"70% of the contributions came from annual low-ticket-price (between $25 and $150) events"
(FWIW: also, note that FEC is paraphrasing, rather than actually quoting directly from the affadavit.)

For want of a better starting point, let's presume the 80/20 rule which would give us an average of $50 for each of the contributors at these events. I'm not sure how much further we should extrapolate the numbers... for now. But let me just state, for the record, that if they made this claim (out of the blue) to 'prove' the point, and if it doesn't actually lend much credence to their case, then it would appear that they are trying to bamboozle.
(see here for speculation about the numbers)

cross-posted at wotisitgood4


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