Dems file election complaint against Lowden | NevadaAppeal.com

Dems file election complaint against Lowden

OSKAR GARCIA
Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS – Nevada Democrats sent a complaint to the Federal Election Commission about U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s campaign bus on Tuesday, accusing the Republican of accepting an excessive campaign contribution and not reporting it properly, a Democratic spokeswoman said.

Party spokeswoman Phoe-be Sweet said Democrats sent the complaint Tuesday. An FEC spokeswoman said it had not been received but needed to be mailed.

The complaint centers around arrangements Lowden’s campaign made for her to use a 2001 Monaco Executive motor home.

Her campaign manager, Robert Uithoven, said in a statement that the accusations were “absolutely false and absurd,” and that the campaign had agreed to lease the vehicle from its owner and disclosed the payments.

“The lease agreement clearly states that Sue Lowden and the Sue Lowden for U.S. Senate campaign is not, has never been, nor ever will be the owner of this private individual’s RV,” Uithoven said. “The campaign will continue to provide full compensation for the operation, use, maintenance, fuel and insurance on this RV, and we will continue to report such expenses as required by law.”

Democrats said in the complaint that Department of Motor Vehicles documents show Lowden was listed as a co-owner of the bus.

An FEC campaign contribution receipt reports $4,560 in in-kind contributions from Carl and Elsie Giudici for “vehicle rental.” Carl Giudici is also named in the complaint.

During an earlier interview with a Reno television station, Lowden described the vehicle as a donation.

“Why would anybody have to demean the fact that someone donated an RV to me for the campaign?” Lowden told KOLO-TV in Reno. “It’s unfortunate that some of their friends didn’t donate to them.”

Danny Tarkanian, one of her primary opponents, later accused Lowden of breaking campaign finance law.

Lowden’s campaign on Tuesday provided The Associated Press with a redacted copy of the first page of its lease agreement, which was dated Jan. 12. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request by the AP to provide the complete lease or specify how much the campaign agreed to pay.

Five of the Republican candidates trying to unseat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, including Lowden and Tarkanian, participated in a television forum on Tuesday but did not mention the bus.