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Craig Campaigners Correct Discrepancy Federal Election Commission Asked For Explantion In April

Associated Press

Republican Sen. Larry Craig’s political operatives have revised the financial disclosure statement to resolve questions about transactions reported in the final month of the 1996 campaign.

Campaign treasurer Kaye O’Riordan also told the Federal Election Commission that future reports will specifically identify businesses paid by credit card rather than listing only the monthly payment to the credit card company.

The revisions to the Dec. 31 report, filed just a week before the disclosure statement for the first half of this year is due, acknowledged that a $1,700 debt originally listed as repaid to a Boise business in early December was misleadingly reflected as a payment to the owner without identifying him.

In an April 8 letter to the Craig campaign, the Federal Election Commission sought an explanation for that discrepancy, which raised the possibility of an illegal corporate contribution, and for the unexplained appearance of a $2,500 debt to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Craig campaign treasurer Kaye O’Riordan told the commission that listing the amount as a debt incurred prior to Thanksgiving and not repaid by year’s end was a mistake.

O’Riordan said on Monday that there was never a $2,500 transaction - debt, contribution or disbursement - involving the senatorial committee.

And earlier, campaign officials had said that money owed to a Boise office supplies retailer was actually paid as reported although the disbursements were not identified in the same fashion as the debt.

But the revised report also continued to show that $574 owed to William Hart of Boise for travel during the fall was repaid in December but the amount the report shows given Hart to cover travel bills was only $401.

Hart had not contributed over $200 to the campaign prior to that so the difference could be written off as a legal contribution.

Craig spent $2.7 million to easily win a second term over Democrat Walt Minnick, who spent $2.1 million. But while Craig ran up a 57 percent majority, he also ran up the first major campaign debt of his political career.

He still owed $181,000 at the close of 1996 and spent the first half of this year raising cash from out-of-state interests to get the campaign out of the red.

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