Michelle Vallejo, a Democrat running for the open seat in Texas’ 15th District, left more than $200,000 in assets off of her financial disclosure report, a form on which she was required to certify the contents were “true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
In February, Vallejo filed an initial financial disclosure report for the year 2021 with one asset in San Luis, Colorado, valued between $15,000-$50,000. She also listed earned income of just under $40,000 from Pulga Los Portales, a family business, and $3,000 she made consulting for a company called Trucha.
Vallejo filed an amended report after CQ Roll Call asked about the source of two $50,000 contributions she made to her campaign earlier this year. Candidates are permitted to loan their personal funds for campaign purposes, according to the Federal Election Commission.
That amended report, filed on July 28, lists five assets that were not included in the original filing. Assets left off are a joint PNC money market account with a value between $100,000 and $250,000, and a jointly held 49 percent ownership interest in Pugla Los Portales, valued between $100,000 and $250,000. She also left off accounts with Capital One and Lone Star National Bank, each valued between $1,000 and $15,000. Additionally, Vallejo didn’t include a jointly held 50 percent interest in Hustle and Socialize LLC, which is valued between $1,000 and $15,000.
That’s a total of between $218,000 and $595,000 in assets. Her first filing only reported between $15,000 and $50,000 in assets.
“We are submitting an amended PFS with additional information that was inadvertently left off the original filing,” Kirby Chandler, a spokesperson for the campaign, said in a statement.
The Ethics in Government Act authorizes the attorney general to seek a civil penalty up to $50,000 against someone who “knowingly and willfully falsifies or fails to file or to report any required information,” according to the House Ethics Committee. Under federal criminal law, anyone who knowingly and willfully falsifies or conceals any material fact in a statement to the government can be fined up to $50,000 and/or imprisoned up to five years.
Vallejo faces Monica De La Cruz Hernandez, a Republican candidate who is among the National Republican Congressional Committee’s "Young Guns" list, meaning she is considered a rising star in the party. The race is rated tilt Republican by Inside Election’s Nathan Gonzales.
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas., the incumbent, decided to run in the 34th District, where the race is rated likely Democrat.
Kedric Payne, a government ethics expert and vice president at the Campaign Legal Center, said candidates are obligated to inform the public of all their assets.
“Sometimes candidates don't understand the form, but the form is quite clear what are assets. The candidate is obligated to tell voters all of their financial interests,” he said in an emailed statement.