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Rep. Marcus Wiedower Corrects Campaign Finance Disclosure After Ethics Complaint

State Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville).

State Rep. Marcus Wiedower filed a revised campaign contribution report on Tuesday after a member of the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee filed a complaint accusing Wiedower of illegally accepting campaign contributions during this year’s legislative session.

In filing the revised campaign contribution disclosure report for Jan. 31, Wiedower changed the dates on 21 contributions that previously had been listed as having been received on Jan. 17, 22 and 23.

The General Assembly began its 2020 session on Jan. 13, and state law stipulates that no member of the General Assembly can seek or accept a contribution or a pledge of a contribution during a legislative session.

Wiedower, in his refiled report, moved the dates of the 21 contributions to dates prior to the start of the session on Jan. 13.

Wiedower said the date of deposit was used mistakenly in the report rather than the date of receipt of the contribution.

The complaint by R. Bruce Menke to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission is dated Sept. 8. Menke is listed as a member of the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee on the Party’s web site.

In an email message on Wednesday evening, Wiedower said, “When a complaint is released to the media like this, it is usually just a political hit. That is all that is happening here.

“I take campaign compliance obligations seriously, and there was no violation of the Campaign Finance Act,” Wiedower said.

“In this case, all contributions were received and accepted before the legislative session started,” Wiedower’s note continued.

“Due to an oversight, when the campaign contribution disclosure report was prepared the date of deposit was used on the report rather than the date of receipt,” Wiedower wrote. “The campaign committee has filed an amendment to cure this technical defect.”

Wiedower is facing a tough re-election bid against Democrat Jonathan Wallace, who previously held the seat. At a recent Oconee County GOP meeting, state Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) urged members to turn out for Wiedower and state Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens), who is facing Democrat Mokah Johnson.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.