Local News

Controversial Candidate Under Fire For Overdue Report

Posted September 19, 2006

— A controversial candidate for U.S. Congress is under fire by his opponent for violating election rules.

Thirteenth District Republican challenger Vernon Robinson failed to file a required personal financial disclosure report with the U.S. House of Representatives. Robinson has built his political reputation on campy, controversial advertisements that attack his opponents on such issues as immigration.

Democrat incumbent Brad Miller's campaign characterized Robinson as not coming clean with the public. When contacted by WRAL, the Robinson campaign called it an oversight.

"It was buried under a stack of papers," said Robinson's campaign manager, Jeff Mixon. "Vernon's a normal guy with a very small staff. It was a simple oversight."

Miller's campaign was quick to criticize, however.

"It's important in terms of what the public should know and has a right to know in terms of where the candidate's income and source of funding comes from," said Miller campaign manager Denise Turner. "And so, the question really goes to why is it not there."

The report was due in May, but Robinson filed it Tuesday after WRAL asked the campaign about it.

The forms, sent to WRAL via fax on Tuesday afternoon, lay out Robinson's many mutual fund investments and his and his wife's salaries last year: more than $45,000 from his education-reform nonprofit, about $10,000 from his serving as a Winston-Salem city councilman and his wife's $31,000 Forsyth County salary.

Miller's financial disclosure shows, aside from investments, almost no outside income to accompany the congressman's $165,000. He reports attorney bills totaling more than $100,000 that he owes from a legal fight with former opponent Carolyn Grant, who sued him over his 2004 political ads.

Under U.S. law, there are few consequences for challengers who fail to file. Incumbents, however, can face ethics sanctions.


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