Discrepancies revealed in Swallow campaign donations

Posted at 9:56 PM, May 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-26 00:40:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY – Online businesses donated a lot of money to Utah Attorney General John Swallow’s campaign, and some of those donations did not get reported correctly.

Fox 13 News has identified 26 companies that donated to John Swallow that operate in an industry sometimes called online direct marketing. Of those 26 companies, only five reported their campaign contributions.

When Fox 13 investigated donations made by Professional Marketing International, it was discovered the company gave Swallow $10,000 in March of 2012 and $5,000 in June of 2012. Swallow only reported receiving the $10,000 donation.

Swallow Campaign Consultant Jason Powers responded to the discrepancy.

“The campaign's treasurer doesn't have records of those donations,” he said. “She will check with the companies next week and amended reports will be filed if necessary.”

The response refers to "companies" because Fox 13 noticed a second discrepancy involving another company, but we were able to track down a likely explanation.

But the missing $5,000 from Professional Marketing International is still a mystery. Their general counsel, Greg Christiansen, said that while they have no idea whether Swallow disclosed the contribution, “...the internal policies of my client are to ensure government compliance when making political donations.  For that reason we have established a system to ensure fair and truthful disclosure, in the case of the State of Utah, with the Lieutenant Governor`s Office.”

But Christiansen is also a registered agent of a company called National Marketing and Learning, which donated $10,000 to Swallow’s campaign that the company did not disclose.

Christiansen said that donation was made before he joined the companies as general counsel. He said the parent company, located in Missouri, was not aware of Utah’s disclosure laws, and he said the company will do what it can to rectify the situation.

In an effort to ensure accuracy, Fox 13 gave the Lt. Governor's elections staff a list of companies that seem not to have disclosed. Utah Elections Director Mark Thomas said they will investigate.