Campaign Legal Center Files Ethics Complaints Against Eight U.S. Senate Candidates in Michigan for Incomplete or Missing Financial Disclosure Forms
Washington, D.C. - Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed two separate complaints with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics (Senate Ethics Committee) focused on eight U.S. Senate candidates in Michigan. The complaints call on the Committee to investigate these candidates for failing to adequately disclose legally required information about their personal finances.
One complaint concerns Senate candidate Hill Harper for his blatant omission of details regarding his personal income, while the other complaint calls for the investigation of seven other Michigan Senate candidates: Nasser Beydoun, Zack Burns, Michael Hoover, Peter Meijer, Sherrell Ann O'Donnell, Sharon Maureen Savage, and Alexandria J. Taylor – all of whom failed to file any personal financial disclosures whatsoever. Ignoring these rules is a violation of the Ethics in Government Act. Intentional violations could prompt further investigation by the U.S. attorney general.
“Voters have a right to know the financial interests of the people hoping to represent them in electoral office,” said Kedric Payne, CLC’s Vice President, General Counsel and Senior Director of Ethics. “Failure to timely file financial disclosure reports or omitting the required details altogether not only deprives voters of this critical information, but in some cases may conceal a campaign’s true sources of funding from law enforcement and the Senate Ethics Committee itself.”
Senate candidates are required to file and submit personal financial disclosure forms to the Senate Ethics Committee after declaring their candidacy and raising or spending at least $5,000 for their campaigns. While Mr. Harper received an initial extension to submit these forms, his disclosures omit details about his income despite his personal loans and contributions totaling more than $460,000 to his own campaign, and a public record of paid employment during this filing period. Meanwhile, the other seven Michigan Senate candidates (listed above) have no personal financial disclosures on file with the Senate Ethics Committee.
The Senate Ethics Committee has a history of referring knowing and willful failures to file personal financial disclosure forms to the U.S. Justice Department, whether or not candidates win their elections. Given the recent expulsion of former Representative George Santos of New York for filing fraudulent disclosure forms, the Senate Ethics Committee needs to transparently communicate and enforce current financial disclosure rules with candidates.
Timely and truthful completion of these materials by candidates helps the electoral and governance process remain transparent and helps build public confidence in candidates seeking to represent their constituents in Congress.