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Hultgren campaign fined for misstating financials

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

The congressional campaign of U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, will have to pay a $2,500 penalty to the Federal Election Commission after an audit showed a misstatement of receipts and expenditures for 2009 and 2010.

According to the FEC’s audit, Randy Hultgren for Congress’ financial reports showed understated receipts by $9,440 and spending by $7,911 for 2009.

In 2010, Hultgren’s campaign understated receipts by $83,278 and spending by $58,694 and the ending cash-on-hand by $26,113.

Hultgren won the state’s contested 14th Congressional District. First, he gained his party’s nod in the primary election against Ethan Hastert – son of Dennis Hastert who held the seat for 20 years – then against incumbent Democrat Bill Foster and Green Party candidate Dan Kairis.

Hultgren was elected to a second term in 2012.

In the negotiated settlement agreement, dated Aug. 19 and made public by the FEC, the Hultgren campaign’s political committee amended its financial reports to correct the misstatements. 

Hultgren’s political committee also agreed to improve its internal controls and to update its process of tracking receipts so financial misstatements will not happen again.

In a statement, Hultgren for Congress thanked the FEC staff for its assistance and professionalism during the audit and review of the campaign’s reports. 

“We cooperated fully with the FEC during this review and adopted their suggestions about how to strengthen the campaign’s compliance operations,” according to the statement.

“This matter focused on technical reporting issues which is why it was handled by the FEC’s alternative dispute resolution office and not in an enforcement action,” the statement said. “We are glad this matter is now closed and look forward to working with the FEC in the future to ensure compliance with its reporting requirements.”

This is the second time the FEC took corrective action on the Hultgren campaign. In September 2010, the campaign admitted it improperly accepted campaign donations from a state campaign committee that was organized years earlier. 

Federal election law forbids candidates from transferring funds from state and local campaign committees to fund runs for congressional seats or other federal offices. 

When the improper contributions were brought to the campaign’s attention, the money was refunded, according to a campaign spokesman. 

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