We have been residents of Columbia, Lincoln, and Richmond counties for decades, and we do not recall a more spending crazed local campaign than when Micheal N. Sleeper ran for school board in 2004. We wondered where he got all of the money to buy all of that Sleeper stuff we saw. We heard many possibilities but really thought noting of them and just let it go. Last week a reader sent us an email saying that some political hawks told him that Sleeper spent a small fortune to get elected, and when he told them he didn’t believe it, they told him to look at the reports. Apparently he did because he sent us an email containing Sleeper’s early disclosure reports that revealed that he loaned himself $22,000 prior to his election. We’re glad he had the money to do it. But some things really bugged us and Sleeper has some major explaining to do. Why send this information to us? Some things bothered him too and he wrote that we’ll “…weed through it and do what is right”.
Sleeper’s September 30, 2004 disclosure report covers the period of July-September. He has an expenditure with no date given because…”payment deferred”. He claimed that the expense was for advertising. The problem is that the expense was payable to Greenbrier High School. WHOA! A candidate for the school board deferring payment to a school. It may be legal but it sure isn’t ethical, but then again, Sleeper was Scott Dean’s campaign manager.
On that same disclosure report, Sleeper reported paying $6471.61 in expenses but he wouldn’t or couldn’t pay the SCHOOL?
Sleeper’s October 25th report shows that he paid out $9453.57 in expenses, but nothing to Greenbrier High School. To go a step further, who did Mike Sleeper pay? He paid $5875 to a consulting company run by someone implicated in the Linda Schrenko scam. Linda is still in prison.
Sleepers December 31st report shows that he paid out $11286.64 in expenses, but nothing to Greenbrier High School.
Sleeper paid out $27211.82 during and after he deferred payment to a school that DIDN’T GET PAID. WHOA! What is his pay as a school board member?
Micheal, did you ever pay Greenbrier High School? Why did you not pay for the advertising when services were rendered? Most of us have purchased space in a yearbook or game program to promote our business or to show love and praise for a child or grandchild, and we always had to pay when we submitted our order. Being Ron Cross’ son-in-law must come with perks.
Speaking of Ron Cross, on Sleeper’s December 31st report, he claims an “in-kind contribution” of $1500 from Ron Cross for “sign labor”. WHOA!
What did Mike Sleeper spend during those 3 reporting periods? All reported expenditures total $28504.82. This figure is different from the $27211.82 because expenditures of $101 or more are itemized and expenditures less than $101 have their own column. Since Sleeper reported a deferred payment to Greenbrier High School, we expect to see the date and dollar amount when it’s paid. Apparently he didn’t pay. Some of us had at least 1 child in GHS during that time, and had we known that a candidate was given advertising space and didn’t pay, we would have hollered at the principal and then called Barry Paschal (not that he would’ve done anything).
If Mike Sleeper is such a conservative financial hawk, why did he spend so much? In 2006 when Lawrence Hammond ran for countywide Chairman of the school board, he didn’t spend as much as Sleeper spent running in a single of 5 districts (there were 5 districts in 2004), and Sleeper didn’t win by much. We don’t know what his current spending total is, but for someone to spend so much money in 6 months to win an election to a post that pays next to nothing is plain nonsense.
More on Mike Sleeper later when we post our Scott Dean opinions. If any of you know Mike ask him, “Hey Mike, did you ever pay Greenbrier High School?” If not, next time he hosts the Austin Rhodes Radio Show, flood him with calls about this topic. If we hear that Sleeper will be hosting, we may even listen in.