This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Two items seemed incredible in new campaign disclosures this week.
First, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, reported giving away a quarter of all the money he raised in the past two years. Second, state Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, said she had spent nothing at all during the past three months.
On Friday, the two candidates offered explanations.
Robles corrected what she already had said was an erroneous report, while Bishop confirmed he has been giving some big money to fellow Republicans as he vies to become a new committee chairman.
Bishop gave $70,000 in the most recent quarter to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which raises money for GOP congressional candidates nationwide.
He has given $110,000 to the NRCC during this two-year election cycle. That is nearly a quarter of the $427,406 he has raised.
Why would he give away a quarter of what he raises and does that show he is not worried about the challenge by Democrat Donna McAleer, whom he beat by a 3-to-1 margin two years ago?
"We make sure we have enough to run a strong race and get our message out, but we also know that politics is a team sport," said Bishop's campaign manager, John Newhall. "We give to the NRCC to help other conservatives like Mia Love and to ensure that Nancy Pelosi never becomes [House] speaker again."
Bishop also hopes to become chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and such leaders are expected to step up and help their colleagues' campaigns and to help the GOP retain House control.
Bishop spread some money to Utah Republicans, too. In this cycle, he gave $12,225 to a variety of county and state GOP party organizations, including $7,500 to the Utah Republican Party itself.
"Rob also understands how critical the grass roots are, so we try to help our local parties and activists where we can," Newhall said. "It's about getting folks involved and working for good government at all levels."
Robles, meanwhile, astounded some Thursday when her disclosure reported her 2nd District congressional campaign had spent nothing over the past three months.
That hardly seemed possible since she had traveled to debates and made appearances around her large district, which includes most of Salt Lake City and stretches to St. George.
Robles quickly said that report of nothing spent was an error by the contractor who filed her disclosure. She filed an amended form Friday, showing she spent $12,018 in the period. Her Republican opponent, freshman Rep. Chris Stewart, had spent $70,595 in that time.
Robles reported she has a bit less cash on hand now because the amended spending had not been deducted from that category on her initial report. She has $24,601 in cash, which is dwarfed by Stewart's $300,100.
Among the specific spending Robles reported in the amendment was $4,520 for printing of campaign materials, $2,100 for fundraising software and $3,000 in salary for her one campaign staffer.