The front runner for the Democrat nomination to run against Congressman Chris Smith in the 4th Congressional District has failed to file his Financial Disclosure Report with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Josh Welle, address unknown, won the endorsement to challenge Congressman Smith at the Monmouth County Democrat Mini-Convention last weekend when he earned 60% of the delegates’ votes to 40% for former Asbury Park Councilman Jim Keady. Welle is heavily favored to win the Ocean County endorsement at a Mini-Convention on Sunday afternoon, March 11 at Central Regional High School in Bayville.
The Ethics in Government Act and U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics requires that Members of Congress, candidates who have raised more than $5000.00, and their spouses (with some exceptions), and some legislative staffers, disclose their assets and “unearned income,” earned income, liabilities, positions, agreements and sources of compensation in excess of $5000. Welle had raised $5000 last September, according to his reports with the Federal Election Commission. He was required to file his Financial Disclosure report within 30 days. Welle is now at over four months late and could be fined as much as $58,000.
When MMM reached Welle on the phone, he hung up. We then texted him asking why he did not file his Financial Disclosure Report, he did not respond.
When Keady and his supporters have questioned Welle about some of his assets (his real estate), his response has been “none of your business.”
But according to the Ethics in Government Act and the rules of the House of Representatives, Welles finances became the public’s business 30 days after he raised $5,000 for his congressional campaign.
A public records search of Welle’s assets raises some significant questions.
Welle and his wife purchased the pictured home in Rumson, a block away from the Shrewsbury River, on June 6, 2017 for $577,000, according to the Monmouth County Clerk’s website. Also according to the Clerk’s website, there is no mortgage filed on the property. How did the Welles pay for the house? That is the question Keady and his supporters should have been asking. According to law, they have a right to know and it is their business.
On June 29, 2016, the Welles bought a home in Arlington Virginia for $675,000, according the Arlington County records. There is no mortgage disclosed on that property either.
Where did Josh Welle and his wife get $1,252,000 to buy two upscale properties in less than one year? How can they afford to carry them?
If Josh was not running for Congress, he would have a point telling voters, “it’s none of your business.” But he is.
Ocean County Democrats should ask Welle to explain his failure to disclose his finances in accordance with the Ethic in Government Act and House rules before they endorse him on Sunday. They should demand he disclose how he is financing his real estate holdings.
Democrat voters, especially delegates to the Ocean County Mini-Convention should not accept and excuse of “it was an oversight.” Welle’s campaign paid a compliance consultant, Congressional Compliance Consultants of Washington, DC, a total of $5,775 last year.
Jim Keady filed his Financial Disclosure Report. Why didn’t Josh Welle?