Lowden told to amend personal finance report

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Ethics Committee discovered several omissions in a personal finance report filed by Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden and asked her to clear the matter up.

The errors were found in a 10-page document the Republican candidate sent to the Senate in December that details the investments and debts held by her and her husband.

It already had been amended once by her campaign, but in an April 26 letter to Lowden, the ethics panel said a review turned up other issues.

Two experts in financial disclosure who reviewed Lowden's report said the 18 omissions flagged by the ethics panel was unusually high.

"It may just be an issue of being sloppy, but that is hardly comforting," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

Bill Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, said, "It wouldn't surprise me if people make the occasional mistake, and especially people with complex finances. But the number here and some of the omissions are a little bit surprising."

Lowden's campaign said the request for clarification was routine and understandable for a first-time federal candidate who has complicated finances.

Spokeswoman Crystal Feldman said a new amendment to the December report was faxed to the Senate on Wednesday.

A copy was not available Thursday night, and Feldman had no more information about it. She said the campaign would release it today .

"We have full disclosure on everything," she said.

All members of Congress and candidates for federal office are required to file reports of their personal finances annually.

Lowden's report showed she and her husband, Paul, have assets of more than $50 million, the largest being in shares of Archon Corp., their publicly held casino company.

The Ethics Committee flagged several items:

■ The Lowdens own stock in 23 companies, but the report omitted the value of shares held in Delphi Corp., an auto parts supplier, and Motors Liquidation Company, formerly General Motors.

■ The report failed to disclose the dates when the Lowdens took out mortgages of more than a million dollars each for properties in Las Vegas and California and an equity line of credit from Bank of America.

■ The report omitted the assets that make up the couple's 401(k) accounts. Paul Lowden holds a 401(k) worth between $100,000 and $250,000, and Sue Lowden has one with assets of between $50,000 and $100,000.

■ The committee asked for more detail on when Sue Lowden obtained board positions at Archon subsidiaries and whether she drew compensation in the posts.

Lowden, other Senate candidates and incumbent Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., were required to submit a new financial report by May 17. Lowden requested and received a 45-day extension.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@reviewjournal.com or 202-783-1760.