Balint, Ram Hinsdale Miss Financial Disclosure Deadline | Politics | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Balint, Ram Hinsdale Miss Financial Disclosure Deadline


Published May 26, 2022 at 12:22 p.m.

Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint (D-Windham) - FILE KEVIN MCCALLUM ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File Kevin McCallum ©️ Seven Days
  • Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint (D-Windham)
Democratic U.S. House candidates Becca Balint and Kesha Ram Hinsdale failed to file federal financial disclosure forms on time, though both campaigns said they plan to submit the documents in the near future.

The U.S. House Committee on Ethics requires candidates for office to file annual reports that contain information about salaries, jobs, assets and liabilities for themselves and their spouses. The forms offer insight into the personal wealth of candidates, what stocks they hold and the amount of debts they owe — and to whom.

Balint, the Vermont Senate president, declared her candidacy on December 13 and had 30 days to file her disclosure or to ask for an extension. She did neither, an oversight that campaign manager Natalie Silver pinned on a previous staffer.

“The previous campaign manager did not communicate with Senator Balint that this was a requirement, nor did they file on time in January,” Silver, who started in early March, said in an email.

A second disclosure was due on May 16. Shortly before then, Silver said she learned that the campaign hadn’t filed its initial disclosure, so she filed for an extension. She acknowledged that the campaign would pay a $200 late filing fee for failing to submit the documents in January.

“We absolutely plan on fully disclosing Senator Balint's finances and will do so within our extension period in the coming days,” Silver said, “and will fully comply with the Committee's requirements.”

Silver later provided an email that confirmed she’d filed a 30-day extension request on May 16 and said the campaign expects to file the full disclosure within two weeks or so. Early voting in Vermont begins on June 25 ahead of the August 9 primary.

“I think this is one of those things where, when you have a change in campaign leadership, sometimes you make mistakes and things fall through the cracks,” Silver said in an interview. “And that's why we didn't file initially.”
Because Ram Hinsdale, a state senator, declared her candidacy in January, she had until May 16 to file her first disclosure or to request an extension. But the campaign did neither. Asked about the delay last week and again earlier this week, campaign spokesperson Michael Shank said that Ram Hinsdale planned to file for an extension “as she just got married and is in the process of merging finances.”

Ram Hinsdale wed Jacob Hinsdale, who works for his late father's namesake property management company, last August.

Shortly before publication of this story, Shank responded to follow-up questions by saying that Ram Hinsdale would aim to file her actual disclosure within the week.

Two other Democratic candidates, Sianay Chase Clifford and Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, have filed financial disclosures. Gray, who launched her campaign on December 6, asked for a 90-day extension shortly afterward and then filed her first disclosure in April. She filed a second disclosure on May 15.

The records show that she has several 529 investments accounts, which contain money that must be used for educational purposes. Gray, who earned a degree from Vermont Law School in 2014, is also paying off between $15,001 and $50,000 in student loans. Her husband, Republic Airways pilot Michael Palm, lists a 401k plan in which he recently sold stock holdings in Amazon, Lowe’s and Lucid Group, a luxury electric car company. The couple were married last August.

Chase Clifford’s disclosures list various small stock holdings held by her husband in companies such as Twitter, Starbucks and Vale S.A., a Brazilian mining company. He lists Sport Lisboa e Benfica, a Portuguese professional soccer club, as his employer.

Chase Clifford, who graduated from Boston College, is also paying off student loans of between $15,001 and $50,000, the records show.

A fifth Democratic candidate, Dr. Louis Meyers, joined the race in mid-April. He has not filed a campaign finance report, so it's unclear if he's raised or spent $5,000, the threshold at which he would need to file a disclosure. In an email Thursday, Meyers said he was nearing the threshold and planned to file a disclosure soon.