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D.C. Politics
Barbara J. Comstock, Va. GOP
candidate for U.S. House, failed to
report $85,000


203
By Antonio Olivo September 5
Northern Virginia congressional candidate Barbara J.
Comstock failed to report that a public-relations company
she owns took in a total of $85,000 in 2012 trying to help
Mitt Romney become president, an apparent breach of
congressional ethics rules.
On Friday, an aide to Comstock, the Republican nominee
in the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-
Va.), said that the oversight was unintentional and that
the campaign was working to correct the problem after
being contacted by The Washington Post.
In January, Comstock, a state delegate representing parts
of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, noted her role as owner
and partner of the company in a statement of economic
interests she is required to file with the Virginia General
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interests she is required to file with the Virginia General
Assembly. The report said Comstock Strategies took in
less than $50,000 the previous year.
In March, Comstocks congressional campaign filed a
federal financial disclosure report noting that the
candidate earned $27,000 in income from Comstock
Strategies in 2013. The report does not mention her role
with the company or how she got the money.
Instructions from the House Committee on Ethics require
congressional candidates to declare all reportable assets,
including ownership interests in privately held
companies.
The committee also requires candidates with an
ownership interest in companies to report fees earned
above $5,000 and a list of clients who paid those
amounts.
Comstocks disclosure report does not mention the
$65,000 Comstock Strategies received in 2012 from the
Romney campaign or the $20,000 paid by the Republican
National Committee, although those groups disclosed the
fees in their own Federal Election Commission reports.
Comstocks disclosure report lists a host of other income
sources, including stocks, retirement funds and husband
Elwyn Chip Comstocks annual salary as a vice principal
at Oakton High School in Fairfax County. (He has since
retired from that job.)
On Friday, Comstocks campaign disclosed the names of
other Comstock Strategies clients who paid fees of more
than $5,000. They include the Workforce Fairness
Institute, a conservative advocacy group, and two public-
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Institute, a conservative advocacy group, and two public-
relations companies.
Comstocks ownership of Comstock Strategies is no
secret, and we disclosed her salary, said political
consultant Ray Allen, speaking on behalf of the campaign.
When this was brought to our attention, we immediately
contacted the ethics committee, Allen said. We are
working with them to ensure that all the forms are filled
out correctly. We will be filing an amended report.
A spokesman for John W. Foust, a member of the Fairfax
County Board of Supervisors and Comstocks Democratic
opponent in the race, accused Comstock of trying to cover
up her past as a Republican political strategist to avoid
being seen as too partisan.
Its a little hard to believe that someone who made a
career out of being an attorney, an investigator and an
opposition researcher could have that big of an
oversight, said Shaun Daniels, campaign manager for
Foust. Shes been running away from her record and
running away from her past.
In his disclosure report, Foust a retired lawyer listed
his $67,450 annual supervisors salary, several hundred
thousand dollars in retirement funds and wife Marylin
Jeromes annual income of between $100,000 and
$250,000 as a partner in an obstetrics clinic in
Washington.
Antonio covers government, politics and other
regional issues in Fairfax County. He worked in Los
Angeles, New York and Chicago before joining the
Post in September of 2013.
Post in September of 2013.