An AP investigation has revealed that Indiana Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a Tea Party favorite whose political ethos is the vehement opposition of anything President Obama attempts, spent $2,000 in campaign donations for a trip to California:
A Facebook page belonging to the wife of an Indiana congressman touted the family’s visit to the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, with photos showing the two children by the conservative icon’s grave and the couple in front of a “humble” wooden table where Reagan signed a massive tax cut.
Although a caption on one of the photos describes the trip as a “family vacation,” documents obtained by The Associated Press show Rep. Marlin Stutzman’s Senate campaign paid more than $2,000 for the four airline tickets to Los Angeles and covered expenses for a van rental and Hilton hotel room recorded during the August trip. Federal Election Commission guidelines forbid the use of an official campaign fund for personal expenses.
I cannot get over how bad that vacation was! At least raid your campaign fund to go somewhere cool and/or fun. A campaign rep for Stutzman says the spending was a “legitimate” campaign expense, but has decided to repay the vacation bill “in the interests of full disclosure,” which is not what “full disclosure” means at all. But what’s even more troubling for Stutzman, the AP suggests, is that this is only part of a wider spendthrift pattern:
The California visit represents just a small part of the over $300,000 in flights, vehicle charges, meals and hotel stays Stutzman’s campaign fund has spent since the tea party-backed Republican went to Washington in 2010 on a pledge to oppose special interests, an AP review found.
Marlin: If you’re going to be a high roller, have more to show for it than a visit to Ronald Reagan’s old wooden table.