In February, an Iowa Field Report investigation found that Multiple Candidates Running for Iowa’s Senate Seat Are In Violation Of Federal Ethics Laws. Weeks after a formal ethics complaint was filed against U.S. Senate candidate Jim Carlin and one other candidate neither has submitted the federally required personal financial disclosure statements.
Complicating matters for Carlin, after learning of IFR’s investigation Sioux City KCAU-TV reached out to him about his failure to properly report his financials. Carlin told KCAU-TV, “They said it was no big deal at all just to get the form on file. They sent me a link, and it’s an easy problem to remedy.”
Acknowledging this failure is the foundation of a new complaint against Carlin. His awareness of breaking the law and his failure to remedy the situation is a separate violation of federal law. 5a U.S. Code states that it is unlawful for anyone to knowingly and willfully fail to file their disclosures.
Iowa Field Report has obtained two new letters, authored by Republican Will Roger, stemming from our February investigation. The first letter calls for the Senate Select Committee to investigate Hurst’s failure to file. The second letter calls on the Senate Select Committee to immediately forward the matter of Carlin’s violation to the U.S. Attorney General for investigation.
The premise of the Iowa Field Report’s original story relates to an over 40-year-old provision called the Federal Ethics in Government Act (FEGA). It requires federal officeholders, candidates for national office, and hundreds of other federal government officials to file personal financial disclosure statements. Both Hurst and Carlin have yet to file their required personal financial disclosure statements.
In his letter concerning Carlin, Rogers establishes that the Attorney General of the United States has the authority to seek a civil penalty for a knowing and willful failure to file a Financial Disclosure Report. Then, Rogers explains that Carlin is doing just that.
We now have clear evidence that Carlin’s failure to file is knowing and willful. Carlin has made public comments that are dismissive of the Committee on Ethics’ Personal Financial Disclosure requirement, and his continued refusal to file can only be interpreted as open defiance of the Committee. On February 16, 2022, it was reported by KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa that Carlin acknowledged he had not fulfilled his obligation to file his disclosure.
Rogers refutes Carlin’s dismissal of the failure to file the report as “much to do about nothing.” Rogers maintains that Carlin’s failure deprives voters of information they deserve and should have had long ago.
“The Personal Financial Disclosure is a fundamental part of how voters evaluate candidates for political office, and voters need plenty of time to do it, which is why candidates are supposed to file it within 30 days of declaring their candidacy”
Rogers also reminds the committee that the law has stiff penalties for those who would violate it, including fines of up to $50,000, imprisonment for one year, or both.
A campaign or candidate making a mistake is not unheard of. However, as we pointed out previously, Senator Carlin is not a political newcomer. He is the Vice-Chair of the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee, and he is a trial lawyer. For someone who practices law and has run for office multiple times, the failure to file his personal financial disclosure statements and subsequent failure to resolve the matter over a month later is troubling, leaving this author to wonder if Carlin thinks himself above the law.
Update Tuesday, April 5th: At the time the letter was sent, Dr. Hurst had yet to file his reports – as of today he has submitted his Personal Financial Disclosure Report. Both letters can be found below.