Carlos Curbelo, a Miami, Florida Republican elected to U.S. Congress during the midterm elections, has some explaining to do, preferably before he is officially sworn into office.
The Federal Election Commission has asked the Miami Republican to respond to a series of questions for omitting or mislabeling more than $93,000 in campaign contributions. The Mitt-Romney endorsed Congressman-elect has blamed the discrepancies on a computer software problem.
In November 14, an auditor with the Federal Elections Commission notified Curbelo campaign treasurer Ed Torgas that an amended quarterly campaign finance report filed in late October was riddled with inaccurate or incomplete information about the donors who gave to his campaign.
The Broward Bulldog explains it wasn’t just an omission here or there — but a variety of irregularities that put the Congressman-elect in hot water:
Torgas could not be reached. Curbelo and a spokeswoman for his campaign did not return phone messages seeking comment. BrowardBulldog.org reported November 1 that Curbelo’s campaign was forced to amend its quarterly report on October 29 because donations from 21 PACs were omitted in its original filing.
The campaign also listed tens of thousands of additional dollars of PAC contributions in the wrong place on the quarterly report – under individual donor contributions – meaning that anyone going to look up the campaign’s PAC contributions would find an incomplete list.
After the Curbelo campaign relabeled the misidentified PAC contributions and added the missing ones, the amended report showed he actually received $93,500 from political committees, including private interests like the National Federation of Independent Business ($2,500), conservative former Congressman Allen West ($5,000) and House Republican leaders like House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. ($2,000).
According to the Miami Herald, more than $50,000 in contributions from political action committees were omitted, and over $40,500 were mislabeled, including $5,000 from KochPAC, run by billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch.
Curbelo’s focus during his 2014 campaign for office was a promise to restore public trust and integrity to public office.
“YOUR CONTRIBUTION TODAY WILL HELP PUT AN END TO THE SCANDALS AND FRAUD THAT HAVE HAUNTED OUR COMMUNITY FOR TOO LONG” read the fundraising plea on his campaign website.
I’m sure it was all just an honest mistake. Sure. Totally.
[Image Credit: CharlesCurbelo.com / top – Yayimages.com / bottom]