The Connecticut Democratic Party said Thursday that U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson should return $100,000 in campaign contributions that have not been reported to federal regulators.
In a complaint to the Federal Election Commission, the Democrats said Johnson has not disclosed the source of campaign cash she received from a fund-raiser with President Bush.
Johnson also failed to file paperwork about a campaign committee that was set up to take the donations, the complaint said.
“One hundred thousand dollars has been given to a member of Congress, and no one knows where it came from and who gave it. This is an outrageous violation of election law,” said John Olsen, chairman of the state Democratic Party.
Johnson’s campaign said that an amendment with the source of the donations will be filed in a few days.
“All the contributions are proper. They are all legal,” said Dave Boomer, Johnson’s campaign manager.
The Federal Election Commission said it had not received a paper copy of the complaint as of Wednesday afternoon. The agency would review the complaint, then give Johnson’s campaign 15 days to respond.
In April, Bush held a joint fund-raiser for Johnson, R-6th District, and U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, R-2nd District. The campaigns agreed to split $200,000 in proceeds from the event.
Federal election law requires campaigns to report who their donors are and the amount they give. The law also sets a donation limit of $2,000 per person.
Johnson failed to list all the contributors in her July filing with the Federal Election Commission. The campaign also failed to file paperwork with the commission about a committee that was set up to receive the donations.
Johnson’s campaign manager, Dave Boomer, said the campaign has been working since April on an amendment to the July filing. The amendment will be filed in a few days, as will the paperwork on the committee, he said.
The report was delayed because it took the campaign time to sort through the donations, to make sure no one exceeded the $2,000 limit, Boomer said.
If someone who attended the Bush event already had given the maximum to Johnson, the money was instead given to Simmons and vice versa.
“It was a complicated process,” Boomer said. No money was refunded.
Johnson’s re-election opponent, U.S. Rep. Jim Maloney, D-5th District, said that the money should be sent back to the donors. The two are running in the new 5th District that was redrawn during redistricting last year.
“They knew there were problems with their contributions, and they were hiding the problems by failing to do an itemization and then trying to fix it later, out of public view,” Maloney said.
The next campaign finance report is due to the Federal Election Commission by Oct. 15.