Cramer Could be Using a Loophole to Skirt Reporting

Public officials and candidates are required to file financial disclosures. Requirements vary from office to office on what needs to be reported. As Congressman Kevin Cramer is seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate, he may be using a loophole to skirt the reporting requirements of his assets on his personal financial disclosure. The Senate rules vary from the House.

By reporting his financial assets as a member of the House, where ethics rules don’t require reporting non-interest bearing accounts, instead of a candidate for the Senate, where ethics rules require all accounts with assets in aggregate of $5,000 be reported, regardless of interest, Cramer could potentially be concealing information on his finances. This wouldn’t be the first time Cramer’s financial reporting has raised questions. In fact, if he is using a loophole it only leads to more questions.

As far as I can tell, Cramer has not reported having a bank account on his federal personal financial disclosure dating back to the mid-1990s. Recall, he first ran for Congress against Earl Pomeroy. Around that time, he held numerous appointed state government positions. He was appointed State Tourism Director. Then he was appointed Economic Development Director. Then he was appointed Public Service Commissioner (PSC). All before he ran for Congress. All taxpayer funded paychecks, yet he didn’t report having a bank account to deposit and withdraw from?

If you look back between 2011 to 2016, Cramer has earned approximately $887,650 including his terms in Congress and on the PSC in ND. Another $7,000 came from the University of Mary. Over that same time period according to FEC reports, he paid and reimbursed himself approximately $108,000 in campaign money. That total would be approximately $995,650 in that time frame. Earlier this year, Politico reported that Cramer has reimbursed himself approximately $200,000 from his campaign account. Yet no bank account reported on his personal financial disclosure.

In addition, it has been well documented that Cramer pays his wife through campaign funds. She works on his reelection campaign. Between 2013 to 2016, Cramer paid his wife approximately $100,000. Even if they don’t share a bank account, if I understand correctly, spouse assests should still be reported. Over this same time period, Kevin Cramer has donated approximately $25,000 in campaign contributions.

It seems odd Cramer hasn’t reported a bank account. Other candidates for the U.S. Senate have done so. Unless he has distributed these funds at numerous banks as to not have an aggregated amount over $5,000 then perhaps he found a creative loophole to not disclose all of his financial assets. If that is the case, further scrutiny is needed. What would he be hiding?

Tyler Axness
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