Something strange is going on with the super PAC formed to support Jon Huntsman's failed presidential bid.
BuzzFeed reports Horizon PAC apparently made more than $200,000 in payments to a phantom political consulting company.
A search of the financial disclosure database shows three payments made to "For Bahm Marketing LLC." Apparently that company does not officially exist. There is also a single $20,000 payment to Bahm Marketing, which is owned by New York Political consultant Steve Goldberg.
According to BuzzFeed, the Utah Lt. Governor's office is investigating the apparent irregularity.
"I own Bahm Marketing — it's named after my children — and I don't know how another company came up with the same name,” he said. Goldberg said he found the three payments in the filing “strange” and stressed that he had not received, and had not expected to receive, the $205,000.
The apparent financial irregularity in the pro-Huntsman PAC — which cost his billionaire father and other about $5 million, according to public records — is the latest chapter in the acrimonious collapse of the former Utah Governor’s political operation. Huntsman’s wife, Mary Kaye, was quoted recently blaming her husband’s political consultants for the campaign’s failures, prompting some former aides to point fingers back at the candidate.
Huntsman’s main consultant, John Weaver, said in an email that Goldberg was “mistaken” in thinking his firm hadn’t received the money. The payment related, Weaver said in the brief email, to Goldberg’s “expertise in modeling/profile creation.”
But the unusual situation prompted an immediate reaction from the office of Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell, which is responsible the state’s campaign finance laws.
“We will take a look into it and see if there is a logical explanation for this,” Mark Thomas, the Utah State Election director who oversees the campaign finance disclosure system told BuzzFeed. “If further investigation is necessary we will work with the Attorney General’s office for a criminal investigation.”