Discrepancies, confusion emerge from Mia Love’s FEC filings

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Utah’s newly created 4th Congressional District looks like it will be one of the tighter House races of 2012, with polls showing Democrat Jim Matheson only narrowly leading any of his three Republican opponents.

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love has the highest national profile, but is the least tested of the three contenders, and her campaign fundraising filings with the Federal Election Commission this week indicate that she has not yet ironed out all of the kinks.

Love filed her pre-convention report Wednesday morning, 36 hours after the Monday midnight deadline. She then had to refile the report because there were several errors.

Love explained in a phone conversation to The Daily Caller that her campaign had been confused over the filing date because the rest of the country did not have to file their reports until Sunday, but Utah’s filing date had been moved back because the convention is on April 21.

She told the Salt Lake Tribune it was “no big deal,” as far as the political ramifications.

“If the only thing Matheson has to come at me with is a one-day late filing — period — then we are in great shape,” she added.

Love’s FEC filings show she raised more money than either of her competitors this period, topping former state Rep. Carl Wimmer by $4,000. Former state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom raised only $9,100 because he was not permitted to fundraise while the legislature was still in session, as he was still serving as a legislator during that time.

But the numbers on Love’s FEC report are confusing. For the period covered by the report — January 1, 2012 through April 1, 2012 — Love claimed $81,916.79 in total contributions. She claimed the same total for the election cycle to-date, suggesting that she raised no money previously, though her Year-End filing report said she raised $38,099.74 from August 26, 2011 through December 31, 2011.

The confusion continues.

This report says the campaign’s net expenditures — for this period and the election cycle-to-date — total $77,588.81. If her total contributions were just $81,000, that would leave Love’s campaign with just over $4,000 cash on hand, a troublingly low number.

But the FEC report claims $39,174.87 cash on hand.

Love told TheDC that the $81,000 is only what they raised in this period, in addition to the $38,000 raised before that. As for why $81,000 is listed as the total raised for the cycle-to-date, Love said: “That number’s wrong. It’s just this quarter.”

Either sum puts Love far behind Wimmer and Sandstrom, both of whom reported over $100,000 cash on hand.

“He has been in this race for a lot longer than I have and I’ve raised more money in this quarter than any of the other candidates have,” Love told the Salt Lake Tribune, referring to Wimmer. “And I didn’t need the Club for Growth to do it,” she added, referring to the fact that the club has been an ardent supporter of Wimmer.

Love, who political observers say has potential to be a formidable candidate, something the polls bear out, nonetheless seems to be struggling with the nuts and bolts of the campaign filing. (MORE ON MIA: Aspiring first black GOP congresswoman: Don’t put me in a box)

A consultant for one of Love’s opponents took a jab at her over the discrepancies, emailing: “Mia Love’s messy FEC report comes as no surprise given her history of fiscal mismanagement as Saratoga Springs Mayor, where she presided over massive spending and tax increases.”

Love shot back that any allegations of financial mismanagement were “completely inaccurate.”

“Saratoga Springs is doing great.They keep bringing that up, and that’s the only thing they have to bring up, and there’s nothing there,” she said. “They can criticize all we want, but we were happy.”

“I would say to everyone, that when the country is running the same way that Saratoga Springs is running, I would stay home,” Love said earlier in the interview, “I wouldn’t do a thing … because we would be doing well.”

To detractors, Love went on the attack, predicting that after the caucus:”We are going to come out in a primary, if not outright win it.”

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