Jake Corman calls for investigation into Doug Mastriano’s fundraising campaign

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A Republican gubernatorial candidate in Pennsylvania asks a local prosecutor to investigate his rival Doug Mastriano’s campaign finances.

State Senate Leader Jake Corman’s campaign alleged Wednesday that Mastriano, another GOP senator from Franklin County, “clearly and blatantly disregarded” the campaign finance law. In a letter to Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal, a Corman campaign attorney suggested that Mastriano may have committed perjury and called for an investigation.

“[I]It appears Senator Mastriano…may have committed gross and willful violations “of state law by” submitting a grossly flawed and incomplete campaign finance report that failed to disclose hundreds of pages of transactions. “wrote Corman campaign attorney Zachary M. Wallen.

Mastriano’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A staunch ally of former President Donald Trump who is widely considered a frontrunner for the GOP nomination, Mastriano has previously said he has complied with state law and that “any ‘speculation’ at the contrary effect is entirely false”.

A spokesperson for Fogal said the DA was not immediately available.

The call for an investigation comes a day after Mastriano filed an amended financial report showing he raised $1 million in 2021, three times more than he originally disclosed. The new filing says Mastriano spent $215,000 last year, 15 times more than he first announced.

Mastriano filed the updated report hours after The Inquirer reported omitting basic campaign expenses for things like registering a domain for its website, email services, and fundraising. Mastriano’s initial report was received by the Pennsylvania State Department nearly a week after the Jan. 31 deadline.

READ MORE: Doug Mastriano’s ‘strange’ financial report raises questions about his Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign

Corman’s campaign said Mastriano provided no “obvious explanation for how 239 pages of contributions and expenses could have been previously ignored” — including $110,000 in contributions from a single donor.

Under Pennsylvania’s election code, candidates for state office must sign affidavits stating that, to the best of their knowledge, their campaign committee has not violated state law. “Any willfully false, fraudulent or misleading statement or entry made by a candidate or treasurer in a sworn statement or report, as required by this section, constitutes the crime of perjury,” the law says.

Corman’s campaign, citing that provision of the law, said in the letter that the district attorney should look into the matter. “[G]given the apparent egregiousness of the violations in question – where experienced political operatives, with years of experience filing campaign finance reports, filed a campaign finance report that did not disclose, without explanation, hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions and expenditures, and only then changed their report when this apparent deception was uncovered by media inquiries – an investigation is deserved,” the letter reads.

Proper disclosure helps inform voters about candidates for public office and deter corruption, the letter says, citing court precedent.

Mastriano and Corman are among a dozen Republican candidates vying for the May 17 primary election. Corman raised $3 million last year and started 2022 with $2.7 million in the bank. Mastriano had nearly $1.3 million to start the year.

“Doug Mastriano clearly and blatantly ignored the law that all other candidates in the race followed,” Corman said in a statement. “Unfortunately, it’s not surprising coming from the leading Republican advocate for [Philadelphia District Attorney] Larry Krasner. Doug is not above the law.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the only major Democrat to run for governor.

See Corman’s full campaign letter below.

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