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vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for fredericksburg.com and The Free Lance-Star.

Check here for the latest reports on news from Stafford County. You can email her at vremmers@freelancestar.com.

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Ortiz Dispels Rumors

Ever since Paul Ortiz declared his candidacy for Aquia District supervisor, I’ve gotten calls and emails alleging that he violated the Hatch Act. I never dismiss rumors out of hand, but some are easier to verify than others.

I’ve probably gotten more anonymous messages and emails on Ortiz’s campaign than any other, so I went to the source.

The two issues I’ve heard about involve 1) a donation from a company that Ortiz does business with in his government job and 2) being endorsed by the Stafford Democratic Committee.

Ortiz didn’t want to get too involved in specifics, but he did say that he’s had to face these allegations. He did not specify what agency contacted him.

"There is no violation of the Hatch Act, that has been decided upon," he said. "An agency was contacted and they’ve contacted me. They have said that there is no violation."

Ortiz has been endorsed by the Stafford Democratic Committee, but an endorsement in itself does not violate the Hatch Act.

"They identified me as their choice," Ortiz said. "I’m not allowed to say they’re endorsing me. That’s their call, not mine."

He further stated that he has legal counsel on hand to advise him on all aspects of his campaign and that he "has not received any donations from corporations."

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/staffordnews/2009/10/12/ortiz-dispels-rumors/

  • dfettero

    Read about the Hatch Act here
    http://www.osc.gov/ha_fed.htm

  • USMC4

    Your “source” is Mr. Ortiz? That is like asking Bernie Madoff if he committed fraud. Of course he will deny.

    With regard to the Hatch Act, why not ask Mary Larson with the US Special Counsel’s office who was investigating Mr. Ortiz late last week? Where is his letter from Special Counsel exonerating him?

    With regard to contributions, just look at his campaign disclosure. He took $1000 from a defense contractor–the industry he is supposed to oversee.

    I guess Al Capone was also innocent since that is what he claimed.

  • Stafford21

    Mr. Ortiz needs to come clean with the voters.

    Why did he take such a large campaign contribution from the industry he is supposed to oversee for the federal government? What special favors do they expect?

    Why is he being investigated by the Special Counsel and where is the document, if any, that says he did not violate the law as he claims?

  • Harpoon

    That’s pretty low–to file a false complaint just to be able to spread rumors about it. Milde must be worried that Ortiz is gaining ground.

    Why is the FLS helping Milde et al with this dirty work?

    Instead of fueling the rumor mill, the reporter should be taking a close look at real issues in the Aquia race–like the way Egan flip-flopped by saying she would disclose the source of all campaign donations, then saying she would not because she needed the money.

    And what are those developers buying with all those donations to Milde?

  • Stafford21

    Pretty low of Harpoon to accuse someone of doing something she has know evidence of and is unlikely true.

    And then to even blame someone for reporting a crime. Do you blame witnesses in murders or robberies for testifying? Or do the laws just not apply to Ortiz?

    Let him come clean and give the paper the paper exonerating him if he has been found innocent. I find it interesting that he wont

  • earlsgrndeere

    I don’t know much about party politics but it makes sense to me that an Independent would be reliant on both democrats and republicans for financial assistance. What i do know: those pesky yard signs and those flyers they hand out all cost something, right? How is anyone supposed to reach into their pocket to pay for those things to serve US? I checked all the websites and I don’t see not one that says that Egan made any promises to anyone other than her would-be constituents. Sounds like she changed her mind b/c she couldn’t get the partisans to pony up because they were afraid their party pals would be a little upset for supporting someone other than the “de-fault” their party designated. A sure way to lose an election is not raise enough money to cover the expenses you need to get your name and mission out there. And Mr or Mrs Harpoon, you sir, or madame, sound like you’re grasping at straws. Looked at Egan’s campaign finance report. How does that even enter into the equation? She has about as much money as that Ortiz fella – and I also saw that she doesn’t have any contributions from anyone for $1,000. As far as I can see, Egan has broken no laws and has broken no promises. I would think that you’d be discussing issues and your candidate’s strong points (I assume you’re supporting that Ortiz fella). I’ve heard about all I want to hear about clean money, what is your candidate going to do for my grandkids.

  • TRUTHSQUAD

    Ortiz’s claim on Beals Blog that has been cleared of Hatch Act violations doesn’t add up http://www.fredericksburg.com/blogs/view?blogger_id=55&p=1255376625.

    Just checked “Hatch Act and Party endorsements” on google and the agency that rules on this has lots of opinions and a slide on its website that says Independent candidates can’t solicit party endorsements:

    Examples, http://www.osc.gov/documents/hatchact/HA%20presentation%20(federal)_files/frame.htm#slide0073.htm http://www.osc.gov/documents/hatchact/federal/fha-28.htm
    http://www.osc.gov/documents/hatchact/federal/fh43002a.htm

    Several letters to the editor from Stafford Democrats say Mr. Ortiz came a calling to the local party.

    So much for neutral investigative reporting Mr. Beals.

  • TRUTHSQUAD