Report: Two SA state lawmakers fail to report campaign donations

Sen. Jose Menendez, Sen. Carlos Uresti named in Texas Tribune investigation

By Josh Skurnik - Reporter, David Ibanez - Web - Managing Editor

SAN ANTONIO - Two Democratic state senators from San Antonio failed to report nearly $60,000 in campaign donations, a Texas Tribune investigation revealed.

State Sens. Jose Menendez and Carlos Uresti told KSAT 12 they have filed amended financial reports.

Generally, failing to report campaign contributions is a violation of state law.

The Tribune investigation discovered that Menendez didn't report $50,000 in donations from the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

Uresti failed to disclose a $9,975 donation from TTLA.

When speaking on background to KSAT 12, a person within Uresti's office said lumping the mistakes together is mixing two different issues.

The staffer noted that Uresti's oversight was on a payment made on his behalf, meaning the money never went in his campaign's bank account. Those notices are sent by mail.

The staff member said the politician missed it and assumed the money was bundled with a separate 40,000 payment, which Uresti did report.

The lawmakers acknowledged their oversight and took responsibility. Menendez said he will pay any fine and take any punishment which comes his way.

Both senators said they have created or are making new safeguards to ensure this never happens again.

Uresti and Menendez sent KSAT 12 these statements about the donations: 

Uresti:

An organization made two expenditures on behalf of my campaign. There was no contribution made directly to my campaign account. We reported one of the expenditures, but due to an oversight, the second expense was not included in the campaign expense report. The expense paid for a research poll that found “79% of my constituents believe I have integrity.” I intend to keep that trust, and within hours of discovering the oversight I amended the report. I apologize for the oversight, and we have implemented additional safeguards to ensure all in-kind contributions are reported timely.

Menendez:

The ultimate responsibility is with me. I’m not going to be throwing anybody under the bus. I will comply with whatever they decide. If they decide there is a fine required or whatever, they’ll make their judgment and I will step up and take responsibility. We take compliance very seriously and we’re implementing new safeguards to make sure that nothing slips through.

To view the full report of the Texas Tribute investigation, click here.

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