Whopping “Errors” In Kenyatta Johnson’s Past Campaign Finance Reports

The councilman has a statement on past misfilings. Ori Feibush to pounce in 3, 2, 1...
Johnson and a few of his high-powered supporters. Photo courtesy of Johnson's campaign.

Johnson and a few of his high-powered supporters. Photo courtesy of Johnson’s campaign.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s campaign operation has had some serious problems keeping its books straight.

His campaign reported spending almost $48,000 in 2012. The real figure was $69,000. The discrepancy was even greater in 2013, when the campaign originally reported spending $36,000, but actually spent almost $77,000.

Johnson, who you’ll recall is facing a tough election challenge from Ori Feibush, amended those screwed-up filings last November. Since then, he says in a statement, he has alerted the Board of Ethics to those amended filings and “professionalized our fundraising and reporting process to ensure our future reports are free from these kinds of mistakes.”

This isn’t the first campaign finance issue to bedevil Johnson’s campaign. The signatures on his past filings do not look remotely similar, which is at least a little concerning because the candidates are supposed to sign themselves. The Johnson campaign acknowledged that “egregious error” and said it would not happen again.

For what it’s worth, Johnson is now working with one of the most professional fundraising shops in the business and it’s likely these, er, oversights are a thing of the past.

Johnson’s full statement is below.

STATEMENT OF COUNCILMAN KENYATTA JOHNSON ON AMENDED CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORTS

“I recently alerted the Philadelphia Board of Ethics to the fact that my campaign identified errors, corrected them, and re-filed amended campaign finance reports for the years 2012 and 2013. I felt that, in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, it was important to inform them of our ongoing efforts.

“Specifically, our 2012 campaign finance report under-reported expenditures. The original report claimed $47,731.17 in expenditures. Our amended report shows expenditures of $69,343.99, an increase of $21,612.82. The amended 2012 report includes an increase of $10.75 in money raised that year as well. Our 2013 report also under-reported expenditures. The original report claimed $36,170.44 in expenses. Our amended report shows expenditures of $76,769.15, an increase $40,598.71. In addition, our amended 2013 report also corrects the total amount raised for the year. The original report showed $188,408.00 raised in 2013, the amended report reports raising $199,200.07, an increase of $10,799.15.

“We identified the errors, ensured that the money was fully accounted for, and filed amended reports in October of 2014. Since that time we replaced our former campaign treasurer with a new treasurer who has a strong background in accounting. We have also professionalized our fundraising and reporting process to ensure our future reports are free from these kinds of mistakes. Our team is conducting an ongoing review of the 2012 and 2013 reports to be doubly sure that we are fully satisfied all necessary corrections have been made.

“Ultimately, as the candidate, it’s my responsibility to make sure campaign finance reports are accurate and on time. It would be easy for me to lay the blame for this at someone else’s feet for filing reports known to contain errors, but that would ignore my duties and obligations as a leader and someone sworn to uphold the public’s trust. I should have been more hands on in the process and I’ve taken steps to ensure I will be moving forward.”