Delaware Wilmington

PART II: Trippi Congo Still Showing the Limits of Always Trying to Play the System

The former Councilman is still trying to figure out where he lives. In the meantime, we took a closer look at his Campaign Finance reports.

He has two campaign committees filed:

  • Friends of Trippi Congo (registered to the address in the Highlands) that he has filed under since he first ran for office.
  • Friends to Trippi Congo (registered to the Market St address in the 2nd, recently opened on July 10, 2020) — this one has no reports filed.

What is most interesting about the Friends of Trippi Congo reports is that once you get past the early reports, they are essentially the same report — cut and paste over and over and over for each reporting period.

Let’s step through:

On the first 30 Day Primary report from 2008, he shows $14,046.00 in receipts and $13,860.22 in expenditures. The receipts are all donations from Trippi to Trippi’s campaign. Not loans.

On the first 8 Day Primary Report from 2008, he shows $600 in receipts (traditional donations); $1,985.00 in expenditures; and all of the donations Trippi made to himself in the 30 day now show up as Loans to the campaign with an additional $2000.00 loan added in.

On the 30 Day General report from 2008, he shows $2,350.00 in traditional donations; no additional expenditures and no more loans. On the 8 Day General, no new donations, no new expenditures, no new loans. 2008 Annual matches up.

2009 Annual, 2020 Annual, 2011 Annual, 2012 30 Day Primary, 2012 8 Day Primary are IDENTICAL REPORTS. No new receipts or expenditures. Even an entrenched incumbent planning on cruising to a win has to pay filing fees and those are not there.

2012 30 Day General shows change: an additional $7,170.00 in a loan and $5,808.50 in expenditures. All expenditures shown paid on September 11, 2012, which was Election Day. All expenditures shown to individuals (not companies) so are we seeing an accounting of street money?

2012 8 Day General, 2012 Annual are the same.

2013 Annual is the same report, but sneaks in additional loan reporting from 2012 — adding $19,340 in loans from Congo to his campaign. There were no amendments to the expenditures side at all from 2012, just this unexplained and previously unreported set of 4 loans.

2014 Annual and 2015 Annual are exactly the same — same balance, same loans, no receipts or expenditures.

2016 30 Day Primary is the same as 2014 and 2015 Annual. At the start of a campaign and no record of even filing fees paid.

2016 8 Day Primary adds $2,595.00 in a new loan from Crown Trophy and $2,595.00 expenditure to the same Crown Trophy.

2016 30 Day General and the 2016 8 Day General revert to the 2016 30 Day Primary (and 2014 and 2015 Annual) data. The exact same.

2016 Annual, 2017 Annual, 2018 Annual, 2019 Annual reports are exactly the same. And on these, Congo should have shown some penalties assessed against his campaign for not filing on time.

Are you following?

Basically Congo has been thumbing his nose at the rules of the system. And the system doesn’t seem to be in any position whatsoever to enforce, audit or catch the people who are not playing in this system in good faith.

If I was a candidate or politician who has spent too many hours trying to get these reports correct, I’d be livid now. This is not an oversight, this is fraud, all the way.

Why would someone who wasn’t interested enough in his 2nd District to live there, AND someone who can’t be bothered to accurately report campaign finances as require by law be looking for a City Council promotion?

2 comments on “PART II: Trippi Congo Still Showing the Limits of Always Trying to Play the System

  1. AGovernor

    Additionally, if you look at documents found for the committee there were a number of items mailed to the candidate or treasurer returned as undeliverable to the 2317 North Market Street address. There are also at least two requests for a waiver of fines for not reporting. One of them says the treasurer thought they had filed the year end report and the system was confusing. The other one says the address and the email address had changed and so they were never notified of the reports being due; both of these requests came after he had served at least one term in office and should have been aware of campaign finance rules and regulations.

    Congo has also had at least seven reporting violations.

    Does anyone even look at these reports at the state campaign finance office?

    What good are rules and regulations if there is no accounting of compliance?

  2. Also, I’m pretty certain that the North Market Street address is his family’s funeral home and not an actual residence. So unless Trippi is rooming with the recently departed, I doubt he actually lives there.

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