Sixth District Congresswoman Lucy McBath amended her financial disclosure form.
Photo: Branden Camp
Photo: Branden Camp

McBath amends disclosure form to show much higher net worth last year

The gun control advocate and former flight attendant stated in her original financial disclosure, filed a day before the Democratic primary in May 2018, that she held between $121,000 and $350,000 in assets.

Last month, the 6th District congresswoman amended the form, which covers the time period between Jan. 2017 to May 2018. The updated disclosure includes hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets that weren’t previously listed, from stocks valued at less than $1,000 to mutual funds worth between a quarter-million dollars and $500,000. Most are attributed to McBath’s husband Curtis, a Delta flight attendant.

In all, the amended report puts the McBath family assets between $964,000 and nearly $2.35 million.

McBath campaign spokesman Jake Orvis said the couple married later in life and keep separate finances.

“When she was advised that she should include her husband’s accounts on her disclosure, her husband provided the necessary information and she immediately amended her report,” Orvis said.

He added that the Marietta Democrat “has complied with all requirements for financial disclosure” and “consistently gone above and beyond legal requirements of reporting.”

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Neither filing covers the period after the 2018 primary, nor McBath’s time serving as a member of Congress.

Still, the House GOP’s campaign arm said the discrepancy between the reports raise questions about McBath’s honesty as she runs for re-election representing a swath of Atlanta’s northern suburbs.

Amendments common

It’s illegal for candidates to knowingly lie on their federal disclosure forms. However, filers frequently make mistakes and amend their previously-submitted reports without receiving any penalties.

A 2011 analysis by Roll Call found that as many as three in 10 House members filed documents amending past submissions that were incorrect. And in recent years, many Georgia lawmakers have revisited their own previously-filed forms, including Congressmen Buddy Carter, R-Pooler and Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia.

Delaney Marsco, an ethics attorney at the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance watchdog group, said McBath’s revisions were “substantial.”

“That seems like a big discrepancy,” said Marsco. “That’s a big chunk of money to leave out of a report, especially coming back a year later to amend that report.”

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The lion’s share of the assets included on McBath’s campaign disclosures — as well as a separate 2018 form required for all members of the current Congress — list her husband Curtis as the owner.

The couple’s separate finances has created headaches for the freshman in the past: it was at the heart of the GOP’s attack that’s raised questions about the congresswoman’s residency in the 6th District. She owns a home in Marietta and her husband lives in Tennessee.

McBath says she moved to Georgia in 1990 and has lived in her Marietta home since 2008. Cobb County recently revoked three years of McBath’s homestead exemption claims on that home because the couple also claimed an exemption on the home in Tennessee.

The National Republican Congressional Committee said the updated financial disclosures, paired with the homestead revocation, were reason enough for voters to reject McBath in 2020.

“Lucy McBath just can’t be honest with Georgians,” NRCC spokeswoman Camille Gallo said this week.

The 6th District, which encompasses portions of Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties, is once again home to one of the most competitive congressional races in the country as former U.S. Rep. Karen Handel and a trio of Republican challengers battle it out to take on McBath, who won by less than 4,000 votes last fall.

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