Rep. Mark Lowery, R-Maumelle, is the subject of an Ethics Commission complaint by Lindsay Brown for what Brown says is a failure by Lowery to submit proper campaign finance documentation on time during the 2016 election cycle. In a statement to the Ethics Commission, Lowery admits he failed to file the reports on time, in part because of a misunderstanding of the law.
According to a letter dated Aug. 29 from Commission Director Graham Sloan to Brown, Brown claims Lowery:
– Did not file his Campaign Contribution and Expenditure (C&E) reports for November 2015, December 2015 and January 2016 until March 17, meaning all were late and the November 2015 report was 93 days late.
– Filed a C&E report for March, April, May and June on July 21, meaning all were late and the March report was 97 days late.
– Has not filed a final report for the primary election or for the third quarter of 2015.
Candidates are supposed to file monthly reports no later than 15 days after the end of each month, except the final month’s report after both the primary election and the general election, when the final reports must be filed within 30 days after the end of the month.
In a statement to the Arkansas Ethics Commission that Lowery made available to Talk Business & Politics, Lowery wrote the following:
“First and foremost, I want to state that there has been no intent or attempt to conceal the sources and amounts of contributions or the expenses paid by the campaign. The late filings are simply errors of which I wish I could turn back the clock and correct. Unfortunately the ‘cure period’ to correct reports does not afford me the opportunity to correct the report submittal dates.
“The most significant of the untimely filings were due to my misunderstanding of the requirements to file during a primary election period in which I did not have an opponent. I was mistaken in believing that an end of campaign filing was all that was required in an unopposed election cycle.
“As for any other untimely submittals referenced in the complaint I will just have to accept blame for a lack of attention to detail.
“I will be glad to elaborate further should you need to speak to me privately or in a hearing before the commission but wanted to provide this short statement to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and provide some explanation.”