Paul Gosar’s campaign cuts ties with GOP vendor over $130,000 in undisclosed campaign donations

Rep. Paul Gosar’s campaign fired one of its fundraisers for failing to provide information in a timely manner — and now it’s asking federal regulators for forgiveness for failing to properly disclose some of its campaign money.

The Arizona Republican filed amended campaign reports disclosing nearly $130,000 in previously undisclosed contributions that had been flagged by a Federal Election Commission campaign finance analyst as impermissible, and Gosar’s team blamed an outside vendor, Joseph Bardswich, and said it ended its contract with him.

Such an error could lead the FEC, the nation’s bipartisan campaign finance regulation agency, to investigate and even fine the Gosar campaign.

“Mr. Bardswich had many (small) contributions that should have been attributed to other individuals,” said Brett Mecum, the treasurer for Gorsar’s campaign, in a letter Tuesday to the FEC. “It appears there was a glitch in the system and a bunch of these small contributions were imported with Mr. Bardswich’s name. The database has been corrected.”

The campaign reported that $250 in excess contributions from Agnes Hayden, a GOP donor from Michigan who had given the maximum $2,900 to Gosar’s re-election, had been returned.

“In regard to the increase in activity not previously disclosed the treasurer has had a difficult time keeping track of a third party’s activity for the campaign,” Mecum told the FEC. “The committee has since terminated its contract with this outside vendor because of these difficulties.”

Bardswich is a mining executive from Arizona whose Golden Vortex Corp. operates the Moss Open Pit Mine near Bullhead City, which Gosar visited in March 2020, when the Bureau of Land Management approved an expansion.

Gosar, who was in contact with “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection, was censured in November 2021 and stripped of his committee assignmnents for posting an anime video that depicted himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and swinging swords toward President Joe Biden.

The lawmaker’s campaign has not yet responded to requests for comment.