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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Only 4 of 80 report campaign spending
Lawmakers say they will beat Dec. 26 deadline

Only four among an estimated 80 candidates and political parties in the Nov. 6 midterm elections have so far filed their detailed campaign statement of account with the Office of the Public Auditor, but many lawmakers interviewed yesterday said they will beat the Dec. 26 deadline.

Of the four early filers, one is an incumbent.

Rep. Ray Tebuteb (IR-Saipan) told Saipan Tribune yesterday he filed his campaign finance report in November. Tebuteb, who was re-elected, said he did not hold any fundraiser but received only a few hundreds in donations to add to his personal money, for a total of less than $1,000 in campaign spending.

Rep. Stanley Torres (Ind-Saipan), who lost his re-election bid, said he will file his campaign finance report this week or next week.

“I’m not in a hurry to file but I will file. I didn’t do any fundraising but I think I spent some $2,600 for my campaign,” he told Saipan Tribune.

Rep. Teresita Santos (Ind-Rota) said she will be filing hers next week on Rota.

OPA reminded all 2012 election candidates and political parties to file a mandatory complete, signed, dated and verified campaign statement of account by Dec. 26, or be subjected to a fine of up to $100 per day for each day the statement is late.

Those required to file include winners and losers in the election, pursuant to Public Law 12-18 or the NMI Election Reform Act of 2000.

Rep. Janet Maratita (IR-Saipan), Rep. Joe Palacios (R-Saipan), House minority leader Joe Deleon Guerrero (IR-Saipan), Rep. Frank Dela Cruz (IR-Saipan), and others separately said yesterday they’re working on their campaign statement of account, which they will file in the next few days.

Maratita said she did not have any fundraiser, and spent not more than $5,000 on her re-election campaign.

Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Cov-Saipan) said his campaign treasurer is still working on the statement.

“We are aware of the deadline, and we are aware that we may request for an extension if necessary,” he added.

Wilma Atalig, an auditor with OPA, said yesterday that they have so far received only four campaign statements of account. Atalig said they expect most candidates to file their statements on the week of the deadline.

OPA will be providing notary services on Rota on Dec. 17 from 9am to 4:30pm and Dec. 18 from 9am to 12pm at the Rota mayor’s conference room, and on Tinian on Dec. 20 from 9am to 4:30pm also in the mayor’s conference room. On Saipan, OPA provides notary services Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm.

The campaign statement of account form is available on OPA’s website at www.opacnmi.com.

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