The Federal Election Commission is asking 12th Congressional District Republican candidate Wright McLeod to provide additional information about his campaign spending or face an audit or penalty.
In a June 18 letter to McLeod campaign treasurer Cameron Nixon, FEC Senior Campaign Finance Analyst Robin Kelly says McLeod’s April quarterly report did not state the purpose for several disbursements of campaign funds, including those characterized only as “payroll.”
Kelly’s letter advises Nixon that campaign payroll disbursements of more than $200 must state the recipient’s name and address in addition to the date and purpose of the payment.
The letter touches on one of the concerns raised in a May 14 complaint filed with the FEC by opponent Rick Allen’s campaign manager, Scott Paradise. Among three issues Paradise raised were McLeod’s failure to itemize payroll disbursements.
“It’s time that Wright McLeod finally tells the truth by admitting he made major mistakes, including stealing our campaign’s donor list,” Paradise said Tuesday. “The FEC has confirmed what we’ve believed for some time – Wright McLeod is in clear violation of the law.”
McLeod campaign spokeswoman Holly Croft called the letter, which has a response due date of July 23, “a routine administrative request” and pointed to similar FEC requests for additional information made earlier this year to Allen and another Republican candidate, state Rep. Lee Anderson.
Both letters, posted on the FEC.gov Web site, cite the candidates’ failures to include more specific information about some donors’ employers besides “requested” or “self.”
Asked whether the letter verified Paradise’s complaint, which McLeod officials have dismissed as a frivolous “hatchet job,” Croft said “there could be some overlap” between Allen’s complaint and the FEC letter.
McLeod, Allen, Anderson and candidate Maria Sheffield, who has accused McLeod of “tracking” her by sending a campaign staffer to videotape her speech, are scheduled to debate at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Columbia County Library in Evans. Former Augusta Chronicle editorial page editor Phil Kent will be moderator.