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December 12, 2017

Ethics complaint against Rep. Mike Holcomb on campaign finance reporting


A citizen has filed an ethics complaint on campaign finance reporting  by Republican state Rep. Mike Holcomb.

Julia Pruden of Grapevine filed the complaint, which notes  Aug. 5 campaign financial filings by Holcomb that amend some past reports. She alleges a variety of inconsistencies: past contributions that no longer appear, some duplicate expense entries, and totals that don’t add up.

But she makes a key point that I note in checking the filings that are currently available on-line: Holcomb reported in June about $2,414  as payments to a credit card for “advertising expenses.” The law says that reports of credit card charges must list recipients of payments and purposes of money paid by credit card. Pruden says Holcomb has not done that.

[pdf-1]
I’ve sought a comment from Holcomb, who faces a Democratic challenge from Dorothy Hall of Sheridan, whom he narrowly defeated two years ago.

The state legislature took steps to prevent any adverse fallout from incomplete and erroneous campaign finance reports. It passed a law that allows legislators a do-over. Once informed of potential problems, a politician may correct a report and be held blameless if any needed corrections are made expeditiously.

However … You may recall that an examination of former Sen. Paul Bookout’s expenditure of money in broad categories, without itemization, eventually led to his removal from office. It turned out the itemization of expenditures showed he’d spent campaign money on personal expenses. 

Resolution of the Holcomb complaint prior to the election is uncertain. The point of such  complaints, inevitably, is to get some attention.

A citizen has filed an ethics complaint on campaign finance reporting  by Republican state Rep. Mike Holcomb.

Julia Pruden of Grapevine filed the complaint, which notes  Aug. 5 campaign financial filings by Holcomb that amend some past reports. She alleges a variety of inconsistencies: past contributions that no longer appear, some duplicate expense entries, and totals that don’t add up.

But she makes a key point that I note in checking the filings that are currently available on-line: Holcomb reported in June about $2,414  as payments to a credit card for “advertising expenses.” The law says that reports of credit card charges must list recipients of payments and purposes of money paid by credit card. Pruden says Holcomb has not done that.

[pdf-1]
I’ve sought a comment from Holcomb, who faces a Democratic challenge from Dorothy Hall of Sheridan, whom he narrowly defeated two years ago.

The state legislature took steps to prevent any adverse fallout from incomplete and erroneous campaign finance reports. It passed a law that allows legislators a do-over. Once informed of potential problems, a politician may correct a report and be held blameless if any needed corrections are made expeditiously.

However … You may recall that an examination of former Sen. Paul Bookout’s expenditure of money in broad categories, without itemization, eventually led to his removal from office. It turned out the itemization of expenditures showed he’d spent campaign money on personal expenses. 

Resolution of the Holcomb complaint prior to the election is uncertain. The point of such  complaints, inevitably, is to get some attention.

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