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Feds Investigating Credit Union Ties to Bishop Campaign

Feds Investigating Credit Union Ties to Bishop Campaign

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Federal Elections Commission is investigating an allegation of campaign finance violations by state credit unions on behalf of Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah.

The federal agency confirmed Friday it was investigating a complaint filed last summer by Seldon Young, who contributed to the campaigns of the first-term congressman's Republican and Democratic opponents.

Bishop was not named as a target of the complaint, but has responded to questions about a $40,000 credit union loan he received one week before the primary election.

Money from the personal loan, which was granted by America First Credit Union without collateral, was used to help pay campaign expenses.

"Clearly, we did nothing wrong," said Bishop spokesman Scott Parker. "It was a signature loan, but it met all the statutory requirements for being allowed."

The complaint's main allegation was that credit unions spent tens of thousands more in helping Bishop's campaign than the $120,000 that was reported.

A spokesman for the Utah League of Credit Unions denied any wrongdoing.

"The nature of the complaint actually underscores what I believe is a lack of understanding of campaign finance law," said Scott Simpson, the league's senior vice president for government relations. "All of the activity was reported according to FEC law. I don't anticipate hearing from the FEC again."

Bishop's campaign earlier this year was hit with a $7,600 fine for filing his post-election report late.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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