Thursday, March 7, 2002

GLOVES OFF IN CASTLE-COOPER MATCHUP

GLOVES OFF IN CASTLE-COOPER MATCHUP

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2002 at 4:00 AM

The Democratic primary for the District 5 seat of the Shelby County Commission is about to get down and dirty. The Guthrie Castle campaign will present a detailed pleading at the 4 p.m. Election Commission meeting Thursday in an effort to purge rival Joe Cooper‘s name from the May 7th primary ballot because of alleged illegalities and improprieties in his financial disclosures.

Cooper, headed with associate Rusty Hyneman to Los Angeles for a Thursday meeting with Home Box Office executives in an effort to land a Lennox Lewis/Mike Tyson championship fight for The Pyramid , responded angrily, “I’m surprised at those boys. I’m trying to talk about the issues, and they want to take the low road. Well, I’m going to be busy trying to bring this fight home for the glory and good fortune of Memphis. They can put that in their disclosure and stick it up their ass!”

Thursday’s filing of a formal complaint with the Election Commission concerning Cooper includes a representation by Clear Channel Outdoor, whose general manager, Tony Dailey, alleges, among other things, that Cooper beat his media company out of $23,700, which sum became “an unvoluntary, but illegal, contribution.” Two representations by Jeff Sullivan, the newly appointed campaign manager of lawyer Castle’s campaign itemize what Sullivan says are illegally large contributions from individuals and other entities, defiance of disclosure obligations in the case of outstanding debts, inaccurate information, and a variety of other “illegal contributions and illegal loans.”

Sullivan asks that “the illegalities and improprieties reflected in Mr. Cooper’s Campaign Disclosure Statements should be referred by this Commission to the District Attorney and the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance for investigation and appropriate action.”

“I guess they don’t think they can beat me fair and square. They may be right about that,” Cooper said, while denying all the allegations and contending that he had filed correct, complete, and timely accounts of all information required of him.

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