Complaint: Dem Special Election Candidate Failed to Disclose Campaign Spending

Trump to campaign in district next week

Mark Friedenberg / Twitter

A recently filed complaint to the Federal Election Commission says Marc Friedenberg, the Democratic candidate in next week's special congressional election in Pennsylvania, illegally failed to disclose his campaign's expenses.

Friedenberg was easily defeated last November by former representative Tom Marino (R., Pa.), who resigned just two weeks into his latest term. Despite his 32-point defeat, Friedenberg quickly announced in January that he would run again in the special election slated to take place next Tuesday.

Looking at Friedenberg's filings to the FEC, however, it would be hard to tell his campaign was launched at all.

The complaint, filed by a district resident earlier this month, points to the lack of reported campaign spending by Friedenberg during the first three months of the year. The only itemized disbursements for Friends of Marc Friedenberg are small fees paid to ActBlue, an online service his campaign receives contributions from.

The complaint points to public campaign activity that clearly came with associated costs. On Facebook, for example, Friends of Marc Friedenberg has been running paid advertisements since January 24, 2019. The campaign also held events, opened campaign offices, produced campaign materials such as yard signs, and hired staff and consultants.

Reached for comment by phone, Friedenberg told the Washington Free Beacon he was unaware of the complaint and too busy to answer any questions. He directed questions to Gregory Minchak, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The complaint calls for an investigation into the Friedenberg campaign's failure to disclose spending. It's most recent filing, covering the month of April, does include payments usually associated with campaigns such as salaries, travel, consulting, and advertising.

Friedenberg's opponent is a Republican member of the state legislature named Fred Keller, who will be boosted on election eve by an appearance with President Donald Trump.

"I’m excited to welcome President Trump for his first visit to the 12th district during his administration and to highlight the work he is doing on behalf of every Pennsylvania family," Keller said.