The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 6, 2008

Congressional candidate facing complaint

A multi-item complaint has been filed with the Federal Elections Commission alleging campaign violations against the Democratic candidate for the 9th Congressional District.

The three-page complaint against Tony Barr, of Blue Knob, was filed by the National Republican Congressional Committee, a Washington, D.C.-based group working on behalf of Republicans in the U.S. House.

It claims that Barr has consistently missed or incorrectly filled out federally required campaign reporting documents, including his statement of candidacy, and failed to disclose campaign donors.

Barr was unopposed in the primary election for the Democratic nomination for the two-year term. He’s running on the November ballot against U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg.

Barr lost to Shuster in 2006.

A spokesman with the FEC on Tuesday cited a confidentiality provision in the law that prevents the agency from discussing complaints.

Barr said his campaign committee – “Friends of Tony Barr” – is aware of the complaint and has been in contact with the FEC.

“We hope to have it straightened out within a day or so,” Barr said, adding that the complaint is politically motivated.

Barr said his problems with the FEC started when he missed putting the year 2008 on his “Statement of Candidacy.”

“It messed everything up,” he said.

There also was some confusion with the 2006 campaign treasurer in following federal guidelines to close out the campaign committee, he said, terming the situation as an oversight here and misinformation there.

“My wife and I are both full-time teachers. We have young children and we’re running for office,” he said.

The FEC can fine the candidate. But Barr said if any fine is imposed, it probably will not exceed $200.

The 9th District cover all or parts of 14 counties including northern Cambria and much of Somerset County.

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