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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sergio Sarmiento writes about how PRI and left both apparently used "phantom businesses" to hide campaign spending

Update, July 27: López Obrador asks that election be annulled, interim president be appointed.

Sergio Sarmiento, in a column entitled "Phantoms," writes about how the Institutional Revolutionary Party and those backing leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador created "phantom businesses" to hide campaign spending.
Sarmiento said the PRI contracted with a company, Alkino, to obtain debit cards used to pay 66 million pesos ($4.9 million) to its representatives at 143,000 polling stations and for other expenses the day of the election, although Alkino appears to have no experience with such financial matters. Sarmiento said the PRI is listing the expenses as ordinary expenses, rather than campaign expenses, to avoid going over its 336 million-peso ($24.9 million) campaign spending limit.
Sarmiento also said that in September 2006, the company Honestidad Valiente was formed, and helped pay expenses for López Obrador's organizing efforts for the 2012 presidential campaign. Sarmiento indicated that such payments violated electoral law. Sarmiento said that the PRI asserts that in 2007, the company Austeridad Republicana was formed as a vehicle to transfer money from Mexico City to the López Obrador campaign effort. Sarmiento's column (PDF).

Update, July 27: López Obrador asks that election be annulled, interim president be appointed.

July 25: Rubén Aguilar sees López Obrador actions as beginning of his 2018 campaign (PDF).
            Caton on how López Obrador wants it both ways (PDF).
            PRI's complaint to Federal Electoral Institute about Honestidad Valiente and Austeridad Republicana (PDF).
July 21: López Obrador says PRI is beginning to reveal information about campaign spending (PDF).
July 20: PAN, PRD presidents to protest PRI electoral "money laundering" to Attorney General's Office. Story in Frontera (PDF).
             Office of PRI backers linked to Monex debit card investigation. Story in Frontera (PDF).