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Roberts’ campaign files complaint against primary opponent Milton Wolf

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, at 1:10 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, at 9:44 a.m.

The executive campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee saying that primary opponent Milton Wolf failed to file a financial disclosure report within 30 days of becoming a candidate, a violation of Senate rules.

Wolf’s campaign said Tuesday the report will be filed within a 30-day grace period provided by the rules.

Also on Tuesday, Wolf, a distant cousin of President Obama’s, picked up an endorsement from the Senate Conservatives Fund, a national organization that is backing a number of conservatives against sitting Republicans, including challengers to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

SCF executive director Matt Hoskins called Wolf “a principled conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts and debt that are bankrupting our country. He’s not a career politician. He’s a doctor who understands exactly why Obamacare must be repealed.”

Leroy Towns, Roberts’ executive campaign manager, said Roberts is ranked as the fifth most conservative member of the U.S. Senate by Heritage Action and has more than 90 endorsements, including from all statewide Republican elected officials.

“Conservative activists across the state have jumped on board with him,” Towns said. “He’s a trusted, tough and tested conservative.”

Towns filed the ethics complaint against Wolf, saying that Wolf filed for candidacy on Oct. 23 and hadn’t filed his financial disclosure report by Dec. 5.

Wolf spokesman Ben Hartman said Wolf mailed the report on Dec. 7. He said it was alarming that Roberts, who serves on the ethics committee, would use his position to make a complaint and also alarming that Roberts didn’t know about the grace period.

Towns said there is no 30-day grace period.

“The law says it has be filed within 30 days. He missed that deadline, and he missed it by a long ways,” Towns said. “You can file for an extension, but he didn’t file for that. He was late on the filing. To call it a 30-day grace period is absolutely misleading.”

Hartman cited a passage in the Senate ethics manual that refers to the grace period. The manual says, “The Committee may not grant an extension that was requested by the filer after expiration of the 30 day ‘grace’ period following the Report’s due date.”

The two Republicans will face each other in the Aug. 5 primary election.

Reach Fred Mann at 316-268-6310 or fmann@wichitaeagle.com.

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