Zody demands formal Election Commission investigation of Holcomb private jet flights

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody requested the four-member Indiana Election Commission launch an investigation into Governor Holcomb’s campaign activities as they relate to a pair of private jet flights in 2018. In a letter to the Commission delivered Wednesday, Zody argued the Commission must scrutinize nearly two dozen contributions received by Holcomb’s campaign and Team Holcomb – Holcomb’s joint fundraising agreement – around the dates of the trip. Any of the contributions, if received at the out-of-state meetings, would directly contradict the Holcomb campaign’s argument for not disclosing the flights.

“No one is above the law,” said Zody. “Governor Holcomb doesn’t get to pick and choose which rules he follows. We’re calling on the commission to examine the evidence and ensure Governor Holcomb is within the rules. State government should not appear to be for sale to the highest bidder.”

The Eric Holcomb for Indiana and Team Holcomb committees logged 21 contributions on the dates in July 2018 and November 2018 when the governor was at RGA meetings, according to campaign filings. Those contributions included checks from organizations that pumped as much as $720,000 into the RGA in 2018. The Holcomb campaign also reported a fundraising expenditure on July 24, 2018. In a memo to the Indianapolis Star, Holcomb’s campaign treasurer argued the campaign did not have to report the private jet flights because Holcomb did not directly benefit from the travel. In a May 3 letter to the Election Division, the Holcomb campaign evaded answering whether the fundraising agreement between Holcomb and the Indiana Republican Party, Team Holcomb, solicited contributions at RGA meetings. The contributions and fundraising expenditure paint a story that Zody believed demands additional scrutiny from the Election Commission.

“Holcomb owes taxpayers the highest level of transparency and undisclosed private jet rides with lobbyists don’t give Hoosiers faith the governor is living up to that standard,” said Zody. “Holcomb should embrace the opportunity to clarify any fundraising activities on these trips and set the record straight.”

In April, the Indiana Democratic Party requested the Indiana Election Division inform the Eric Holcomb for Indiana campaign they had filed a defective report for failing to disclose the flights and called on the Indiana Inspector General to investigate whether Holcomb violated state ethics rules. According to Indiana election law, a person who knowingly files a fraudulent report commits a Level 6 felony, and is subject to a $10,000 fine, two and one-half years imprisonment, or both. ###