Immigrant Convicted in
Campaign Funding / Identity Theft Scheme
A jury in Multnomah County Oregon says a Ukrainian immigrant forged
signatures and stole identities to help his candidates take hundreds of
thousands of dollars from the public campaign finance system.
Under Portland's campaign finance system, candidates who collect $5
contributions and signatures from 1,000 people get $150,000 in taxpayer
money to run their campaigns. The idea is to encourage newcomers to run for
office while limiting the influence of big-money donors.
Vladimir Golovan, 33, immigrated to the United States in 1998 and
became politically active several years ago. In the summer of 2005, he met
City Council candidate Bruce Broussard, who told him about the city's new
public financing program.
Later, Golovan helped three candidates meet the thousand-signature threshold
but authorities became suspicious after an investigation by The Oregonian
last year. The investigation revealed that contribution sheets contained
several instances in which one person appeared to have signed for several.
When interviewed, people whose names appeared on the list said they had no
knowledge of having made donations and in most cases did not recognize the
candidate's name or Golovanís.
After receiving the taxpayer money, Lucinda Tate paid Golovan $15,000
for his efforts in collecting almost all of the 1,000 signatures she needed.
Moreover, Golovan, under oath, acknowledged that he did not collect any
money for Emilie Boyles but gave her $5,000 from his own bank
During the trial, prosecutor Erik Wasmann said Golovan "found and
exploited the loopholes in a flawed system" for his own gain. He was accused
of lying about collecting donations for Boyles and lying about collecting
both signatures and money for Lucinda Tate.
Golavan testified that he had permission from the people whose signatures he
copied. But the defense presented no witnesses to verify that, and seven
immigrants testified that someone forged their signatures on Tate's donor
list without their approval.
Golovan also acknowledged forging signatures and having volunteers forge
signatures for Tate. Tate spent three months gathering 650 signatures and
donations when she turned to Golovan. Within a week, he gave her 450 names.
Not the only incident of immigrant
interference in U.S. elections.
According to a report in the World Net
Daily, Richard Valdemar, a retired sergeant with the L.A. County sheriff's
department and a longtime member of a federal task force investigating gang
activity said last year that Mexican drug cartels
rig elections to take over U.S.
cities . He cited first-hand experience in investigating attempts to take
over seven cities in Los Angeles County.
Abdul Rehman Jinnah
made the FBI's most wanted list last year after he was charged with
conspiracy and illegal campaign contributions to several United States
federal and state politicians in 2006.
Last week Golovan was convicted on 10 felony
charges, all related to his work on the Tate campaign. His sentencing is
scheduled for Sept. 4, and he is free in the meantime.
Get the newsletter