Lewis campaign filed incomplete funds report

Washington Bureau

Rep. Jerry Lewis' campaign committee failed to properly report more than $276,000 in stock earnings to the Federal Election Commission last year, campaign finance records show.

Campaign officials for Lewis, R-Redlands, filed a response to the election commission calling the discrepancy an oversight and saying they would amend their reports to fix the error.

Jim Specht, a spokesman for Lewis, said he is confident the amended report would resolve the issue. Days before November's election, Lewis cashed out a decades-old mutual fund account containing more than $500,000, Specht said.

Lewis, who had contributed heavily to individual Republican candidates in tight races, agreed to give $335,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee at the 11th hour.

The rest of the cash from the mutual-fund account was put back into the Lewis campaign fund.

In the end, Democrats won control of both the House and Senate and Lewis was hit with more than $108,190 in capital gains taxes stemming from the transaction.

The Lewis campaign paid those taxes, records show. But the $276,614.66 that the mutual fund account had earned over the years was not reflected on campaign-finance disclosure forms filed with the election commission in December.

Officials from Williams & Jensen, the Washington, D.C., law firm that handles Lewis' campaign finances, did not return calls seeking comment.

The discrepancy was discovered this spring, when federal election officials received Lewis' regular financial disclosure report and saw an unaccounted for increase in funds. On May 22, they sent the Lewis campaign a letter requiring an explanation.

Every year, the Federal Election Commission sends thousands of requests for information to members of Congress based on apparent finance mistakes or irregularities.

Thus, the discrepancy and subsequent correspondence are not unusual, said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, a no

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