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Barr campaign denies Shuster complaint about financial disclosure

October 14, 2008

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., stated Monday that his Democratic opponent Tony Barr has failed to file a Personal Financial Disclosure form that was due May 15, an allegation the Barr campaign denied.

A formal complaint was filed with the U.S. House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, according to the release from Shuster's campaign committee. The disclosure report is supposed to list a candidate's major sources of income, assets, debts and any corporate board on which he serves, the release stated.

Shuster's letter to the committee Friday also requests an investigation by the U.S. Attorney General's Office.

A replay to an e-mail sent to the Barr campaign called the allegation "puzzling."

"The Personal Financial Disclosure form to which Shuster is referring was filed as part of our 2006 campaign and filed again at the beginning of our 2008 campaign," E. Vincent Kelly, a campaign official, said in the e-mail.

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"This is a clear attempt by the Shuster camp to place doubt in the minds of voters that a grass-roots campaign like Tony Barr's is a legitimate contender for the 9th District Congressional seat. How dare someone threaten Bill Shuster's birthright?" the e-mail states.

Candidates who fail to file are subject to a civil fine of up to $11,000, the release states. Knowingly or willingly falsifying or concealing any material fact to the government can result in an additional $11,000 fine and up to five years in prison, it states.

The release also stated it was the second time Barr failed to file a report with the government. In May, the Republican Party filed a complaint after Barr failed to file a campaign expense report with the Federal Election Commission, the Shuster release states.

Shuster's complaint states that a qualified candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives must file the financial disclosure form and that Barr has filed his statement of organization, a pre-primary report and a July quarterly report with the Federal Election Commission.

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