Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lugar Billed Taxpayers for Campaign Trips to Indiana

Sen. Richard Lugar
I overlooked the part about Sen. Richard Lugar billing taxpayers for campaign trips to Indiana.  That in the end could be a more damaging political story that the legal problem of Lugar's staff billing taxpayers for trips to Indiana when the Senate had adjourned.  Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana outlines the rest of the story:
Politico reported yesterday that Lugar was "now consulting with the Senate’s disbursement office to determine whether the reimbursements should be paid for out of pocket or through his reelection campaign account." An examination of the records uncovered by Politico may reveal that in 2011 alone, Sen. Lugar may have been billing taxpayers for trips he made back to Indiana for political purposes. Those include the following trips:
  • For a trip January 20-23, 2011, Lugar received a reimbursement for $393.73 for a trip that included for a fundraiser his campaign hosted in Carmel on January 21, 2011.
  • For a trip May 31-June 4, 2011, Lugar received a reimbursement of $513.96, which included meetings at his Indianapolis campaign headquarters on June 1, 2011 and a National Republican Senatorial Committee event in Evansville on June 4, 2011.
  • Lugar received a reimbursement of $162.83 for June 25-26, 2011 during which he attended a political event in Hamilton County.
  • A reimbursement for July 3-5, 2011 of $813.13 included Lugar's attendance at a political event in Syracuse.
  • For a trip made on July 8-July 10, 2011, Lugar received a reimbursement of $817.78 during which he attended a political event in Morgan County.
  • A $551.14 reimbursement for the period of August 24-September 2, 2011 included at least one fundraiser for his campaign held in Kokomo and political events in Indianapolis, Columbus and Fort Wayne.
    Those return trips to Indiana during 2011 alone represented $3,252.57 in travel charges billed to taxpayers....
To see the rest of the Advance Indiana story, click here. 

These mistakes were done in 2011 in the midst of a contentious political campaign when all eyes were watching.  You have to wonder what the Lugar campaign people were thinking.

1 comment:

Downtown Indy said...

I thought each congressional officeholder got a yearly stipend, in the amount of millions of dollars each, with which to run their office and cover costs associated with being in office.

Why don't these travel expenses come out of that budget, anyway?