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The Latest: Iowa congressman failed to disclose new company

February 22, 2018

FILE - In this May 11, 2017, file photo, Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, speaks during a town hall meeting in Marshalltown, Iowa. Blum has likely violated multiple House ethics rules by failing to disclose a new company that he founded, using an official photo on its website, and having an aide appear in a false testimonial for its services, a review by The Associated Press shows. Blum, a Republican facing a competitive race for re-election, is one of two directors of the Tin Moon Corporation, a digital marketing company incorporated in 2016 as Blum was in his first term, a business filing shows. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on a congressman from Iowa’s failure to disclose an internet marketing company that he helped form in 2016 (all times local):

7:00 p.m.

A congressman from Iowa says he made an “administrative oversight” by failing to disclose his ownership of a company that uses his chief of staff in a false testimonial for its services.

Republican Rep. Rod Blum said in a statement Wednesday that he has amended his personal financial disclosure form to list his role as director of Tin Moon Corp. He said he would also list the company as an asset valued at $700.

The moves came hours after The Associated Press reported that Blum violated House ethics rules by failing to list his ties to Tin Moon on his form.

Tin Moon’s website on Tuesday removed an official photo of Blum wearing his congressional pin and changed his title from CEO to “majority shareholder.” But the company hasn’t removed a false video testimonial showing Blum chief of staff John Ferland posing as a satisfied customer.

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11:20 a.m.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A congressman from Iowa violated House ethics rules by failing to disclose his ownership of a company that uses one of his federal staffers in a false testimonial for its services.

A business filing reviewed by The Associated Press shows Rep. Rod Blum was one of two initial directors of the Tin Moon Corp. when it was incorporated in 2016 as Blum was in his first term. House rules require members to identify all outside corporate positions they hold, but Blum didn’t list his role in his 2016 disclosure.

Tin Moon’s website had listed Blum as its CEO, featuring an official photo showing Blum wearing his congressional pin. The company removed the photo and changed Blum’s title to “majority shareholder” Tuesday after AP raised questions.

Blum told AP he wasn’t involved in the company’s operations.

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