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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Stuckart missed deadline; former treasurer says PDC lost form

Spokane City Council president candidate Ben Stuckart missed a state deadline for filing a campaign finance report by more than two months.

The mistake was quickly fixed once the Public Disclosure Commission informed Stuckart that he was late, and a penalty is unlikely, said Lori Anderson, PDC spokeswoman.

The state requires candidates to file a "personal financial affairs statement" (calld the F-1 form) within two weeks of raising or spending money on a campaign or declaring a candidacy. Stuckart entered the race March 1. The PDC didn't receive his personal financial disclosure form until June 1, though other required forms were received on time.

Stuckart's campaign manger Jessica Anundson said last week that Stuckart filled out the form in a timely manner and gave it to his first campaign treasurer, Amy Biviano, with other forms. But Biviano didn't "submit it with everything else," Anundson said.

"We thought it was filed until the PDC called us," she said.

But Biviano, who said she left the Stuckart campaign to work on Spokane Mayor Mary Verner's reelection bid, said this week that she sent the form on time and that if there was a problem, it occurred after she sent the forms.

"The campaign did follow the rules," said Biviano, former chairwoman of the Spokane County Democratic Party. "It sounds like it was lost."

Anderson, of the PDC, said she couldn't completely rule out the possibility of the PDC making a mistake with the form, but said it is unlikely. Paperwork is scanned into the system as soon as it arrives. The only possibility is that it was mislabeled when it was scanned. But each document and label is doublechecked by a second employee, she said.

Stuckart said this week that he has no information to contradict Biviano's account. He said he was simply focused on fixing the problem.

In an email to the PDC, Stuckart said: "My treasurer for the month of March was let go for exactly these types of errors."

Biviano says she left the Stuckart campaign on her own at Verner's "urging" so she could work on Verner's mayoral campaign.

PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson said because Stuckart immediately responded and provided the form when he was informed that it was late, the delay is unlikely to result in a fine even if a formal complaint is filed.

"If it were just a late F-1 that someone were complaining about, we would probably tell Mr. Stuckart to pay attention in the future," Anderson said.

 Meanwhile, Biviano is no longer Verner's campaign manger.

"We had different ideas about what a campaign manager should do," said Biviano, who said she will remain active in Verner's campaign.

Verner said Biviano was hired on "a month-to-month basis" and that as of early this month, she decided to move to a campaign managed by a group of volunteers, similar to her first mayoral run.

"She did some important work setting things up," Verner said.

Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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