California

Devin Nunes, TJ Cox delay financial reports amid accusations they didn’t disclose businesses

California Congressmen Devin Nunes and TJ Cox have filed requests for extensions on their mandatory financial disclosure forms, which were due Wednesday.

Both San Joaquin Valley congressmen have faced recent questions from critics alleging they neglected to include some of their business interests on those forms. The 90-day extension means their forms are now not due until Aug. 13.

Cox, D-Fresno, who listed 24 positions and assets in 35 entities in his financial disclosure as a candidate, also requested an extension last year.

“This is a standard extension that hundreds of members and candidates from both parties file each year,” said Francois Genard, chief of staff for Cox.

It’s the first extension requested by Nunes, R-Tulare, since at least 2007, which is as far back as online records from the Clerk of the House of Representatives go. Nunes’ past disclosures have listed assets in four entities and no additional positions outside being a member of Congress.

Nunes’ office did not return a request for comment.

Financial disclosure extensions are common, but not used by the majority of members. In 2018, 168 extensions for members were granted by the House Clerk’s office. There are 435 members in the House, meaning just under 40 percent of members asked for extensions.

The disclosure forms are mandatory for all members of Congress and their senior staff.

Cox has said he’s in the process of divesting from his companies, though the disclosure report would cover 2018 and not necessarily show any changes he made since taking office.

Cox won a close election to unseat incumbent Republican David Valado. The race wasn’t settled until January, two months after the election.

Past reporting in the Fresno Bee said he failed to disclose ties to five business interests in his previous disclosure form. This year’s form would show if he felt those business ties now warrant disclosure.

Former Rep. Valadao also filed an extension in his last year of office.

The nonprofit advocacy group Campaign for Accountability in July filed a complaint against Nunes alleging he failed to disclose business interests.

The group said records showed Nunes had a stake in Vidonia LLC, a California financial holding company active between 2006 and 2009, but that he failed to disclose it on any financial disclosure forms.

Campaign for Accountability also called into question the finances Nunes listed, suggesting that he was either not disclosing the correct amounts he was making or had been given special deals on investments into wineries, a gift he would also have to disclose.

There has been no update to that ethics complaint from a the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Kate Irby is based in Washington, D.C. and reports on issues important to McClatchy’s California newspapers, including the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee. She previously reported on breaking news in D.C., politics in Florida for the Bradenton Herald and politics in Ohio for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
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