Matt Angle fined for campaign finance reporting violations, says “technical errors” were not deliberate


The Texas Ethics Commission has fined Matt Angle, former head of the Texas Democratic Trust, $5,000 for failing to disclose a $50,000 political contribution and the recipients of more than $370,000 in political reimbursements, most of them to his own consulting firm.

The Commission found dozens of reporting errors in six financial disclosure reports filed in 2009 and 2010 for the now disbanded political action committee. You can read the entire decision here.

Texas Watchdog took note of Angle’s method of operating the Texas Democratic Trust in January of 2010, the month Angle filed a report, the Commission says, failing to specify that more than $140,000 in campaign donations were being paid back to Angle & Associates.

Angle billed but was not specific about who was being repaid for consulting expenses, travel and office furniture. In at least two instances Angle did not disclose reimbursements to candidates for in-kind rent payments.

Angle on Wednesday took responsibility for not disclosing the $50,000 political contribution but told Texas Watchdog it was a “technical, administrative oversight” he corrected with the Commission after it was pointed out in a complaint filed against him.

Angle, contacted by phone working in Texas, said all of the reporting errors were technical, none of them deliberate ethical breaches. In most instances, reimbursements were made to parties, including him, with single checks rather than separate checks for each expense.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” Angle said. “We’re not disputing the technical errors, but there is no indication that they were anything other than technical errors.”

Angle ran Texas Democratic Trust for six years through 2010, raising and spending more than $10 million, he said. The Trust, he said, was instrumental in putting Democratic Party finances back on a solid footing in Texas.

“I’m very proud of the contribution we made to the Democratic Party and to having a competitive two-party system here in Texas,” Angle said.

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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