JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The first analysis of Lt. Governor Peter Kinder’s amended campaign finance reports show over 40 transactions totaling over $68,000 to former campaign staffer Logan Thompson that were left off the original reports.
Friday, the Kinder campaign announced they had conducted a forensic audit and turned their findings over to law enforcement. United States Attorney Richard Callahan told the AP that Kinder was not targeted in the investigation.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Kinder has been in contact with both law enforcement and the Missouri Ethics Commission since the discrepancies were first discovered.
Some media outlets previously have mentioned Kinder’s former political consultant David Barklage as someone of interest, but first analysis of the amended reports show only one $2,000 expense payment on the original records that is left off of the amended reports, which could mean that, after the audit, Barklage may be owed money.
In total, the amended reports show over $160,000 in payments to Barklage. Many of the transactions were simply reclassified by the campaign between polling, research and consulting. Some amended transactions between independent contractors and campaign expenses.
Other reports show payments from Kinder to Barklage dating back as long the ethics commission maintains electronic records and continued thru mid-2015 without significant irregularities save for the amended reports.
Sources inside the campaign tell The Missouri Times that Thompson began working for the campaign in early 2012 and left in mid-2014.
During that time, Kinder’s original filings show just over $83,000 in payments to Thompson. However, after the forensic audit, the amended fillings show Thompson receiving over $150,000 in payments from the campaign.
The financial discrepancies between the original and amended reports seem to end when Thompson leaves the campaign. It would appear as though Thompson was both the comptroller and person authorizing payments of campaign funds.
MEC reports show that through 2012, Thompson was compensated as “campaign manager.” Then, he was classified as either “payroll/books” or “retainer”. His company, Thompson Political Communications, was first paid as “comptroller” on May 29, 2013.
Records on Missouri Case Net show that Thompson has previously been sued twice and hit with judgements totaling tens of thousands of dollars over breaches of contract as well as being sued for refusing to pay child support.
After leaving politics, Thompson briefly worked as a personal trainer.
Pam Dixon, campaign manager for the Kinder campaign, would only say that they were leaving everything up to the authorities.
UPDATE: Barklage and Knodell sent a statement Friday evening:
A detailed review and comparison of original and amended Peter Kinder campaign finance records conducted by The Barklage Company shows that there were no previously unreported payments to David Barklage or the Barklage Companies and in fact the amended reports show that they were paid less than previously reported. Amended reports show that Barklage and his companies were actually paid $2,000.00 less than previously reported. The review shows:
–Every dollar the Kinder campaign paid to The Barklage Company, its successor firm Barklage & Knodell, and company owner David Barklage, is accounted for in both the prior campaign finance reports and the amended reports.
–The newly amended reports break down the amounts paid to Barklage in specific detail, and every dollar paid to Barklage is accounted for.
–At no time since the 2006 election cycle has any Barklage company or David Barklage had responsibility for filing the Kinder campaign’s campaign finance reports. Again, the Barklage firms had zero involvement in filing the Kinder campaign reports.
They also sent a spreadsheet along with the statement showing a breakdown they prepared of their transactions with the Kinder campaign during the time period spanning each amended report.