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Ward files new financial report on assets

| April 29, 2010 9:00 PM

BOISE (AP) - Republican U.S. House hopeful Vaughn Ward on Tuesday released a new U.S. House financial disclosure detailing about $110,000 worth of family assets he hadn't included in a similar report last year.

U.S. House candidates and members must disclose most assets, including from spouses, worth more than $1,000.

In Ward's 2009 disclosure, he listed property in Cascade, Idaho, and a home in Virginia but omitted some assets, including those of his wife, Kirsten, saying he originally believed they were exempt.

In his new disclosure, he reports her $78,840 Fidelity 401K; stock in her employer, Fannie Mae, worth less than $1,000; and his own $31,189 Thrift 401K from his work at the Central Intelligence Agency. Ward's spokesman, Ryan O'Barto, said lawyers advised him the CIA account is exempt, but the campaign reported it, anyway.

"We wanted to make sure we were completely transparent and we listed it," O'Barto told The Associated Press.

Ward is running against state Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican from Eagle, in the May 25 GOP primary.

The winner is due to face U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Idaho, in November's general election.

Labrador provided the AP a copy of his U.S. House disclosure on Tuesday morning. It includes retirement or college accounts held by him, his wife, Rebecca, and their five kids valued at between approximately $35,000 and $175,000.

In it, Labrador reported withdrawing from his retirement plan to make a personal $50,000 campaign loan. In an interview, he said he paid a penalty to access the money, hoping it would be matched by robust campaign contributions that he concedes have been slow to come in, so far.

He brought in just $35,763 in the most recent quarter; Ward brought in $167,610, while Minnick led with $231,000.

"It was worth it," Labrador said Tuesday. "Our founding fathers paid a major price for founding this nation. I think it's important that we all sacrifice a little bit."

Separately, the Idaho Statesman reported Ward is delinquent paying his Valley County property taxes for a fourth time since 2004. Ward and his wife, Kirsten, were late in 2004, 2006, 2007 and now 2009. They now owe $434.80, including penalties and interest.

O'Barto objected to being singled out by reporters for being late on his property taxes, when Minnick has also been tardy. Minnick was late several times since 1999 paying his taxes on properties he owns in Boise, racking up $712.94 in late charges and interest in the process, according to documents gathered by Ward's campaign from the Ada County Assessor's office.

Minnick's spokesman, John Foster, said the Democrat's tax payments are current and that Minnick's campaign isn't making an issue of Ward's late payments.

"Whether you are starting a business or running for Congress, people occasionally miss things," Foster said.

Labrador said, to his knowledge, he's never been late on his property tax payments.

The Idaho Statesman also reported Tuesday that Ward violated a Pentagon rule in March meant to prevent candidates from giving the impression they're supported by the military.

Ward, a U.S. Marine major, was asked by the Marine Corps to remove an ad that appeared a month ago on the Drudge Report website. It showed Ward in camouflage and body armor, but didn't provide a disclaimer clarifying the ad didn't imply a U.S. Department of Defense endorsement.

Ward's campaign said the error has been corrected, including on separate campaign postcards that were originally sent to voters without disclaimers.

"We are sending more, and they have the disclaimer on them," O'Barto said.

Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com