Editor, Times-Union:
We recently filed a complaint with the Indiana Election Commission regarding actions of the nominee Nisly. The press has done a good job reporting the events but I felt it important to make our concerns very simple. By their nature these sort of things are somewhat smoke and mirrors and it takes real work to pull away all the covers.
We became aware, in early August, of certain facts that required us to conduct an investigation which concluded on Aug. 15. Some of the facts came to us by simply reading comments on social media and by an anonymous report. These are the facts: the nominee, through his web computer business, designed the web page for the Elkhart County Election Board. At the bottom of the home page he placed a link to his business. One click on that link took one to his business home page. On that page he boldly advertises his political campaign for District 22 and provides direct links to his campaign Facebook and campaign web page. Just before we filed the election board complaint the link was closed.
These are the facts.
We secondly expressed our concern that a computer expert who is a candidate should not have access to the election board website because such an expert could delve into all sorts of voter data. It just looks terribly bad and alarms us. And we would be fools to think this could not happen given the fact the nominee used the website to link to his campaign.
We also express concern because the nominee’s wife sits on the Elkhart Vote Center committee. The Elkhart Vote Center is boldly displayed on the Elkhart Election Board home page.
Finally, we noticed that on his business home page he states very clearly that his business designed his campaign website but on his official financial report he shows he paid a company called HS Enterprises for the web design for his campaign. HS Enterprises pretends to be an Indiana limited liability corporation. It is not registered with our Secretary of State. HS is run by the nominee’s general manager for his business. To us this looks fishy so we felt duty bound to report it.
We had several choices here. We could have ignored the above and continued to campaign. This would have been wrong. We could have held the complaint and filed it just before the election for maximum press coverage. This would have been wrong. Or, we could have conducted our investigation and filed this as soon as we completed it. I think we did the right thing, regardless of what the election commission does. Even if the above is “strictly legit” it strikes us as unfair campaigning. We trust that each of you will draw your own conclusions from these facts.
The nominee is all about less government and more freedoms. We challenge him to completely remove himself from the government web page and let this election be fair and free.
David C. Kolbe
District 22 Candidate
State Representative
Warsaw, via email