The congressional campaign of former Georgia congressman Bob Barr received a curious donation last quarter--from a man who had been dead for nearly three years. Barr's son Derek responded to the questions about the donation to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway.
"We have researched this particular donation, and determined the check in question was simply 'keyed in' as a donation from a repeat donor who is now deceased, rather than from his spouse who is also a long-time donor," he told Galloway in an email. "The correction will be made and the report will be amended."
According to Barr campaign manager Jeff Breedlove, the FEC report listing Malvern Gross's April 2013 donation has been amended to show the donation has come from Gross's surviving wife, Inge. Breedlove told THE WEEKLY STANDARD that an independent firm types in their donations when filing the quarterly FEC reports and that the donation reportedly coming from the deceased Gross was the result of a "typo."
"Human beings make mistakes," said Breedlove.
The Barr campaign maintains that the mistake occurred because Gross, in life, had donated to Barr's past campaigns, though its unclear if he has ever donated to either Barr's congressional campaigns (he served in the House from 1995 to 2003) or to his 2008 presidential campaign as the Libertarian party candidate. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Malvern Gross donated to numerous candidates and organizations like the RNC and the Club for Growth, while his wife Inge has donated mostly to the RNC. None of these donations appear to be to Barr himself.
Calls to the Gross family have not been returned. The Barr campaign, which is facing three other Republican primary opponents for the House seat currently held by Senate candidate Phil Gingrey, says they are moving on.
"We're not going to get in the business of responding to every attack," said Breedlove.
Update: The Barr campaign has provided TWS with a copy of the check to Barr's campaign from Inge Gross, the wife of the deceased Malvern Gross. The campaign has also clarified that while neither of the Grosses were previous donors to Barr specifically, their past donations to Republican candidates and causes resulted in Inge's 2013 donation being auto-filled by the independent contractor as coming from Malvern. View an image of the check below.