Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate and current State Senator Julianne Ortman disclosed the payment made by her U.S. Senate campaign to rival candidate Monti Moreno in amended campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Moreno claims that he received the payment for endorsing Ortman's candidacy at the Republican State Convention this past summer.
Ortman confirmed in December her campaign made a payment to Moreno, but stated the "check was not authorized by me or by the campaign." Last November, Ortman would not specifically answer repeated questions regarding her campaign’s payment to Moreno. At the time Ortman wrote, "I don't know about a check to Moreno" but she declined to answer if her campaign committee wrote Moreno a check.
Moreno has claimed he received $400 from Andy Parrish, who served as a top advisor to Ortman’s campaign, for endorsing her candidacy. Moreno said in a past interview that Andy Parrish wrote him a check in Ortman's campaign office a few days after the Republican State Convention.
Ortman did not respond to a request for comment about the new filings from her campaign. The payment to Moreno had not appeared in any previous campaign finance reports filed with the FEC by Ortman's campaign.
The payment to Moreno's campaign is listed in an amended July Quarterly Report which was filed on January 31, 2015. This is the second amended to the July Quarterly Report filed by Ortman's campaign. The campaign also filed a second amendment to the Pre-Primary Report and an amendment to the October Quarterly Report. Campaign finance reports filed by Ortman's campaign with the FEC have been frequently amended after the initial reports were filed.
According to the new campaign finance reports, Ortman's U.S. Senate campaign has debts now over $50,000, including a new loan made by Ortman to her campaign for $8,400.
In December, the Minnesota DFL called for ethics complaint to be filed against Ortman over the payment to Moreno.
Picture source: Julianne Ortman for U.S. Senate