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Chenoweth Says Deed Was Lost, Signs New One

Tue., Sept. 10, 1996

A deed substantiating a land deal that raised questions during Helen Chenoweth’s 1994 campaign for Congress was “misplaced or lost,” Chenoweth said Monday, so she has signed a new one.

Chenoweth released copies of a deed signed July 15, 1996, that was recorded Friday at the Clearwater County Courthouse. It notes the sale of land near Orofino, Idaho, to Allen and Connie Ball.

Chenoweth said she sold the land to campaign supporter Allen Ball for $60,000 to raise money for a last-minute ad blitz that helped her win the 1994 GOP primary. But she never produced any documents substantiating the sale.

That raised questions over whether Ball had actually made an illegal campaign contribution. Individual contributions are limited to $1,000 per election cycle.

Idaho law doesn’t require land sales to be recorded, although most are.

“The original deed was delivered to Allen Ball in April of 1994,” Chenoweth said Monday. “This original deed was misplaced or lost.”

Chenoweth also released a portion of her 1994 federal income tax return, showing that she paid capital gains tax on the money she received from Ball.

“With this, the land deal is a done deal,” Chenoweth said.

Other issues with Chenoweth’s finances include:

Her campaign has yet to respond to a March request from the Federal Election Commission for information on an unsecured $40,000 West One Bank loan Chenoweth got a month after her 1994 primary victory to handle bills. The campaign carried that loan as a personal one not subject to sharp federal restrictions for eight months before acknowledging it came from a bank. It since has been repaid with a second mortgage Chenoweth took on her Boise home.

The campaign also hasn’t yet responded to questions about why it appeared to pay nearly three times the actual rent to sublease space from Chenoweth’s business during the 1994 campaign.

Critics contend she reported an inordinate amount of small donations, particularly at the end of 1994, and could be hiding larger donations, for which donors must be identified, in that category. But Chenoweth said they are legal small contributions and she will not disclose the donors unless the law changes.

, DataTimes

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