Fundraiser sues Plummer over campaign debts

News-DemocratJuly 5, 2013 

Jason Plummer.

DERIK HOLTMANN/BND

— A fundraising consultant and longtime acquaintance has filed suit against Jason Plummer over outstanding debts from his failed Congressional campaign.

Franny Decker of Decker Consulting Services in Washington, D.C., has sued Plummer personally and his election committee, Plummer for Congress, for more than $50,000. Decker alleges that she is owed payments for her fundraising work on Plummer's 2012 campaign for the 12th Congressional District.

Plummer could not be reached for comment. Decker declined to comment and referred questions to her attorney, Kent Gray of Springfield, who also could not be reached for comment.

The suit was filed in Madison County Circuit Court on June 17, and states that Decker "greatly exceeded" the goals set for her to raise money from political action campaigns to support Plummer's run.

Plummer, who is vice president of R.P. Lumber, was defeated in the election by U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart despite raising more than $200,000 more than his opponent. In total, Plummer raised $1,064,524, with $422,960 coming from PACs.

Under the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, PACs and other outside groups may give unlimited amounts of money to support or defeat a federal political candidate as long as those groups don't coordinate with the candidate's campaign.

Decker is a longtime associate of Plummer's, having met when they were both members of College Republicans at the University of Illinois, according to the lawsuit's filings. Her previous work as a political operative included stints working for Illinois House Republican Leader Lee Daniels and U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, as well as PAC coordinator for the Independent Community Bankers of America. Decker also has served as vice president of political finance for the Oorbeek Group in Washington, D.C.

The suit alleges that it belongs in Madison County Circuit Court because Plummer's homestead tax exemption is for his house on Knights Bridge Lane in Edwardsville. Plummer maintained throughout the campaign that he lives at one of his other properties in O'Fallon.

Decker alleges that while Plummer has made partial payments on the amount owed, he has not responded to requests for the remaining amount of $51,700. Under Illinois law, it states, a candidate is personally responsible for campaign debts. Decker's suit did not include itemizations of her outstanding invoices, but stated that she would reveal them if ordered by the court.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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