Waffle #5: Joe Miller Clouds Own Transparency

From Mudflats

Fails to File Disclosure and Could Face $50,000 Fine

Those inquisitive little devils over at Think Progress have just come in with this.

Sarah Palin-backed Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller (R-AK), who defeated incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) in the primary in August, skyrocketed to power partially by demanding more transparency and ethics in Washington. In his 12-point campaign promise, Miller says he will “end czar layer of government” that “clouds transparency in government.” Miller’s campaign endorsement page features Alaskans praising him for having higher ethics and a greater commitment to transparency.

However, ThinkProgress contacted the Senate Ethics Committee and the Senate Office of Public Records yesterday and discovered that Miller has not filed a personal finance disclosure as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, as required by law. According to Title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and Senate Rule 41.1, candidates for U.S. Senate must file a disclosure form within 30 days of raising or spending $5,000. According to the Federal Elections Committee, Miller raised well over $5,000 as early as April of this year. Asked again today by ThinkProgress if Miller has filed his personal finance disclosure, or has contacted the Senate Office of Public Records with any request for an extension to file, a staffer with the Office responded:

“We haven’t received anything from him. He hasn’t sent us anything.”

According to law, “failure to file or report information required to be reported by section 102 of the Act may subject” Miller — a Yale Law School graduate — to a “civil penalty of not more than $50,000 and to disciplinary action by the Select Committee on Ethics and/or any other appropriate authority.” As of today, Miller is at least five months late with his disclosures.

It’s not the first time Miller has faced ethical issues. As the Associated Press reported yesterday, Miller received a special low-income hunting and fishing license shortly after joining a law firm making about $70,000 a year. Although he claims he received the license lawfully, his opponent blasted him for “gaming the system.”

ThinkProgress reached out to several members of the Miller campaign team for comment. They have not yet provided a response, but we will post an update if they do.