Gov. George Wallace told the Federal Election Commission yesterday that more than $90,000 missing from his 1976 presidential campaign "involves only a question of proper receipts."
Wallace was the first presidential candidate to appear before the FEC, which oversees federal election funds.
The FEC's final audit of the Wallace campaign ordered the Alabama governor to repay $96,669.60 - most of which the commission said could not be accounted for.
"The whole thing involves only one-half of 1 percent of all my expenditures," Wallace said. "This involves only a question of proper receipts - there's nothing wrong here."
Wallace, who asked the FEC for an extension of the deadline by which he must account for the missing funds, explained that many of the expenditures of his 1976 presidential campaign are noted only on the checks his campaign committee used.
He said his campaign committee needs the extra time to acquire the checks that would prove the money went for legitimate campaign expenses.
The FEC gave him an extension until April 18.
The largest item in the FEC audit was $63,000 in advances to Wallace campaign workers that were not accounted for. The FEC also said the Wallace campaign spent more than $28,000, from bank accounts in eight states, that was never accounted for.
The FEC said the remainder of the money involved apparent personal misuse of campaign funds, much of it by Wallace's campaign chairman, Charles S. Snider.
The FEC said Snider bought a Ford van that had been used in the campaign for $1,500 - much less than its market value. The FEC ordered the Wallace campaign to repay $2,300 for that item.
The original audit also showed several thousand dollars in gifts that the FEC questioned, including televisions, toasters and blenders, mint julep serving sets and engraved water goblets. But the FEC said Wallace aides were able to convince them all the gifts were campaign-related except for a necklace with a Wallace souvenir pendant that cost $25.93.