- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The Federal Election Commission has raised concern about information missing for several of U.S. House candidate Leland Christensen’s donors including his own campaign treasurer, an issue records show has persisted through two quarterly campaign finance reports.

Meanwhile, the campaign was a week late Friday filing information including Christensen’s income sources with the U.S. House Ethics Committee. Christensen plans to file the information immediately and pay a late fee, campaign spokeswoman Kristin Walker said by email Friday.

Contacted by The Associated Press, Christensen, a state senator from Alta, said Thursday he was unaware of the FEC concerns but would consult with the Virginia firm handling his finance reports.

“This is new to me,” Christensen said. “Just so we wouldn’t have FEC issues, we went with a firm that came highly recommended as the best in the business.”

State Sen. Ogden Driskill, a fellow Republican who is treasurer of Christensen’s campaign, also said he was unaware the FEC two months ago requested additional information on the occupations and employers of several donors. The campaign’s first-quarter report, electronically endorsed with Driskill’s name in typeface, instead reported that information was “requested per best efforts” for 38 donors.

The donors included Driskill himself, a state senator and rancher in the Devils Tower area who gave $1,500 to the campaign in February, according to the report. “I’m sure it’s just oversight. Leland’s about the most upstanding and honest guy I’ve ever met. It’s certainly not anything I knew anything about,” Driskill said.

Reporting that information had been requested “per best efforts” is unacceptable without documentation of efforts that comply with federal campaign finance laws, FEC senior campaign finance analyst Robin Kelly wrote in a May 23 request for additional information.

Christensen’s campaign resubmitted its first-quarter report in response to the FEC letter. The campaign also filed a letter explaining its best efforts included following up with donors by mail seeking the missing information.

Yet the resubmitted report still omitted the occupations and employers of Driskill and 14 others including Bill Winney, a retired U.S. Navy submarine commander from Bondurant who sought the Republican nomination for U.S. House in 2008.

The campaign’s second-quarter report, due July 15, omitted the occupations of Driskill, who made a $500 in-kind contribution in June, and 10 others, including state Sen. Drew Perkins, a Casper attorney; and state Sen. Curt Meier, of LaGrange, who works in his family’s agribusiness.

Christensen identified the firm handling his finance reports as Compliance Consulting. The company did not have a listed number, and Christensen’s campaign did not immediately provide one when asked Thursday and Friday.

FEC officials said they could not comment on specific campaign finance issues with candidates. The Christensen campaign currently is in good standing with the FEC and has received no new notices to the contrary, Walker said.

Through the end of June, Christensen had raised $107,488, spent $64,291 and had $43,196 remaining. The other top money-raising candidates among the nine Republicans running were Liz Cheney, who raised $1.1 million and had $640,917 left; and Tim Stubson, who raised $199,629, including a $60,000 loan to himself, and had $82,780 left.

Cheney’s finance reports list employer and occupation information for all her donors. Stubson has reported that information for all donors except one in the second quarter who listed both as “N/A” or “not applicable.”

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Follow Mead Gruver at https://twitter.com/meadgruver

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