Watchdog: Ryan Challenger Failed to File Disclosure Form in Time

FACT lodges complaint with ethics committee against Democrat Randy Bryce

Randy Bryce
Randy Bryce / Getty Images

A watchdog group has filed a complaint against a Democratic challenger of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) for failing to file a financial disclosure form within thirty days of announcing his candidacy and raising $5,000, as required by federal law.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a D.C.-based government watchdog organization, filed the complaint this week with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics against Randy Bryce, a Democratic activist and ironworker who is running in the Democratic primary, over his failure to abide by disclosure laws.

Bryce initially filed his statement of candidacy on June 19 with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Under Federal law, a House candidate is required to file a financial disclosure form within thirty days of "qualifying as a candidate by either raising or spending more than $5,000," the complaint notes.

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Bryce, who broke records for his initial fundraising haul by pulling in $430,000 in donations in just under two weeks of his announcement, would have had to submit the disclosure form by July 20, one month after a press release and his campaign financial forms showed he surpassed $5,000 in contributions.

Bryce did not request a filing extension at any point and ultimately submitted the disclosure form on Oct. 24, more than three months after it was due.

Kendra Arnold, the executive director of FACT, is asking the Ethics Committee to act on the matter by imposing fines for Bryce's failure to timely file the form.

"It is important for the Committee to act in this case and impose an appropriate fine," Arnold writes in the complaint. "The financial disclosure requirement is part of the law to ensure an ethical and transparent government. It is not just a technical requirement—the timely filing permits citizens to access any conflicts of interest the candidate may have during hit or her campaign for office. No candidate should be permitted to disregard the law, and facts in this case demonstrate that is what happened here."

Bryce has hauled in nearly $1.5 million in contributions since he declared his candidacy, records show.

On Sunday, he posted a tweet implying an affair between Ivanka Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "Don't worry #WI01, I'm going to win my primary v @IronStache, so you don't need to vote for someone who thinks women need a man to be okay," Cathy Myers, Bryce's Democratic opponent, tweeted in response.

Bryce's campaign did not return a request for comment by press time.