Hoffer: “Flanagan and Salmon campaign finance filings would fail audit”

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Posted on July 20, 2010 in Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Contact Doug Hoffer at 864-5711

July 19, 2010

Democratic candidate for State Auditor Doug Hoffer today said the July 15 campaign finance reports of Ed Flanagan and Tom Salmon are plagued with errors and that both candidates should file amended reports to clear up the confusion.

“For another office we might think of this as merely unfortunate,” Hoffer said. “But the State Auditor is called upon to inspect the financial reporting of state agencies. I think at a minimum candidates for Auditor should be able to properly complete these simple forms.”

According to documents available on the Secretary of State’s website, Ed Flanagan’s current campaign finance report is the latest in a series of incorrect and contradictory reports.

  • A handwritten note on Flanagan’s July 15 2010 report refers to $27,087.15 in available funds “FROM PREVIOUS CAMPAIGNS.” Going back at least six years, there is no record in any of Flanagan’s previous campaign finance filings documenting this carryover.
  • Flanagan’s July 15 2009 report was stamped received by the Secretary of State on June 24, 2010, eleven months late. Flanagan’s signature on the report appears to read July 15, 2010. Again, a hand-scribbled notation refers to previous campaign funds carrying over, but going back at least six years, there is no record in any of Flanagan’s previous campaign finance filings documenting this carryover.
  • All six of Flanagan’s 2008 campaign finance reports (dating from July through December) appear to be signed on April 30, 2009. These range in tardiness between 4.5 and 9 months.
  • Dating all the way back to Flanagan’s 2006 campaign finance statements, the amount “$0” is listed for carryover from previous campaigns.
  • Flanagan’s December 2006 report shows total contributions of $37,708.36 and total expenditures of $32,610.32. No subsequent report reflects the apparent surplus funds.
  • Flanagan’s October 27, 2008 report (signed on April 30, 2009) includes mysterious contributions totaling $2,300 for that period but no future reports (which are cumulative in nature) include this. In fact, neither Flanagan’s November 14, 2008 or December 15, 2008 report lists any amount under total contributions for the campaign to date.

Hoffer says that Republican State Auditor Tom Salmon also appears to have erred in his recent campaign finance report. Hoffer said Salmon had details of contributions and expenditures which should not have been included because they had previously been reported by Salmon in his July 15 2009 report – a year earlier.  The Secretary of State’s forms are very clear about this.

  • In last week’s finance report, Salmon detailed 14 contributions over $100 for the reporting period on page 3, totaling $7,150, but on page 2 reports only $2,200 of these contributions.  Eleven of the contributions were previously reported in his July 15, 2009 report.
  • Salmon says on page 2 of the report that total expenditures for the period are $2,167.17, but the detailed listing of expenses on page 4 is $3,262.65. It includes two payments previously reported in July 2009.
  • Double-counting contributions, even on one page of the report, can give people a false impression of fund-raising success. In fact, Salmon’s proper contributions since July 2009 included only three above the $100 mark (and only one in 2010).

Hoffer suggested that both Flanagan and Salmon should file amended reports to make sure there’s no confusion about their campaign finances.  “These are not transparent filings in my opinion,” Hoffer said.  “These are the types of mistakes that give auditors and CPAs headaches.”

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