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The campaign contributions case: A better approach

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

A group of Democrats has an issue with the way Armstrong County Commissioner Chairman Dave Battaglia, a Republican, and his campaign officials filed the required campaign contributions report. They have taken their case to Common Pleas Court.

The Democrats, represented by attorney Chuck Pascal of Leechburg, say $7,800 in contributions was inappropriately recorded.

For their parts, Mr. Battaglia and his campaign treasurer said they never read the rules for filing, which were provided by the county's election office.

So as voters watch the ongoing sniping, what are they to make of it?

Mr. Pascal says the public deserves full disclosure of the source of the funds. And he's right.

Battaglia and company say there was nothing nefarious going on. That's sounds plausible — especially if they hadn't read the rules, even after amending the forms.

Still, this is not the finest hour for politics in Armstrong County.

If the plaintiffs believe the donations were purposely hidden, they should make that case to the public. A press conference would be cheaper than a court case.

And Battaglia and his supporters should publicly explain what all the donations were and from whom.

Then the issue would be front and center for the public to consider. Ultimately, that's the court that will render the most important decision in this case.

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