In the 1st Congressional District Republican primary, Rod Blum has been making the case that he is best candidate to face Democrat Congressman Bruce Braley in the fall, not his primary opponent Ben Lange who nearly defeated Braley in 2010. Blum says that he, as a job creator and businessman, provides a better contrast to Braley than Lange, a 33 year-old attorney, does. Braley is also an attorney.
Blum has been persuasive in making his argument against his opponent, but with his campaign’s inability to comply with the simplest of campaign disclosure requirements, he’s raised questions about his ability to put together a serious campaign.
Federal law requires all campaigns to file campaign quarterly, year-end, and pre-election disclosures with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The Blum campaign has yet to file a pre-primary report in advance of the June 5th primary.
The deadline for the filing was Thursday, May 24th, which means that Blum is almost a week late in submitting his campaign disclosure. The FEC has confirmed that failure to file pre-primary reports typically results in civil penalties including an administrative fine — which could be significant depending on the amount of money the committee raised. In addition to a fine, the Blum campaign may also be at risk of an audit, an investigation, and other enforcement actions by the FEC.
Not only does Blum’s inability to file his pre-primary report with the FEC show that his campaign is unorganized, but his failure to file on time could hinder a general election campaign should he be successful in the primary. The last thing any candidate needs after winning a contested primary is an on-going audit or fine by the FEC.