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Monday, April 17, 2000

Francis defends
his campaign
spending reports

A state commission says
he owes $50 for failing to clear
up a delinquency

By Leila Fujimori


Russ Francis, who is running for Patsy Mink's congressional seat, says there is nothing wrong with his campaign spending reports.

"It may need to be updated, but it doesn't make it delinquent," Francis said.

But "seriously delinquent" is how Robert Watada, executive director of the state Campaign Spending Commission, characterizes the reports, and said repeated notices have been sent to Francis to clean up defective reports.

Francis "would take submitted reports, copy it and submit it again," Watada said.

He must pay the state $50 for failure to file the last supplemental report due in January and failure to respond to a notice of the defective report in the time period the commission allotted.

The report is from Francis' bid for City Council against Councilman Andy Mirikitani in 1998.

The former NFL football player, a Republican, is seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat, which represents rural Oahu and the neighbor islands.

"If I filed a report today, it would look the same as the last report because no money's come in and no money's been spent," Francis said. He said nothing has changed since the 1998 election and the campaign account has remained inactive. He said he will look into any possible changes since the last filing.

Francis said his previous campaign treasurers changed a few times. "It really was a calabash kind of campaign support group," he said of the volunteers. "If something was missed, it was an honest mistake."

He said this campaign will have much more structured accountability.

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