Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 02/15/16 01:56
by Dave Mindeman
The Star Tribune
put together a look at the legislative campaign finance reports and found some interesting expenses being paid with campaign funds. My own legislator, Tara Mack, reimbursed her husband for child care expenses during the last session for over $2,000. The payments ended in May and the "document exchange" incident happened in late summer.
Democrats and Republicans have a lot of airfare paid for via conferences and supposedly legislative related business. And Rep. Leidiger used campaign funds to pay for a speeding ticket - I guess he was on his way to work? And of course, there is lots and lots of golf.
But I always find State Senator Dan Hall's reports the most interesting. Let me give you a few items....2015
1. In December, Hall's airfare was reimbursed by the "Foundation For Excellence in Education". This is a Florida based group that is big into school choice - public and private. Big into Jeb Bush, Florida style education, including common core. They promote an end to teacher tenure and are big into alternative licensure.
2. Meeting fees in September for a conference with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council). You probably know these guys. They push pro-GOP policies via state legislation. Hall signed up for 2 year membership; paying for it with campaign funds.
3. Paid for a Lakeville Chamber golf tournament ($150) entry fee. I guess it pertains to the 3 Lakeville precincts in his district.2014
1. He paid $349 for convention and meeting fees for AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee). You have to ask the question - what would a state legislator be involved with... for that organization?
2. Another $400 in fees for ALEC.
3. Reimbursed himself $3,360 for mileage. Candidates do this, but not usually in figures that high. He also reimbursed himself $2100 for other miscellaneous expenses.2012
1. Reimbursement expenses - mostly mileage = $2,100
2. His wife Valerie Hall, reimbursed expense = $1,6652011
1. Reimbursement expenses = $1,665
I guess Dan decided to itemize during this year and the items are pretty interesting.....
Clock at Walmart = $9.88
Hand Sanitizer at Costco = $5.00
Parking Fees (May) = $2.00
Picture Frames at Walmart = $33.27
Political Spirit = $7.50
----The Political Spirit is an apocalyptic book written by a former Muslin.
A .69 reimbursment via Super America for coffee meeting (just weird)
2. He also bought a $499 cell phone. Does he only use it only for campaign purposes? Maybe he does.2010
1. Reimbursement expense = $5,243
Most prominently $2,950 in automobile expense.
2. And within that reimbursement, there are 76 items listed for lunch expense of $8.00 or less. Kind of a fanatic. There is even an entry for .75 for a newspaper.
Dan Hall has some of the stranger reports. I can't say there is anything illegal about any of this, but it is certainly a little disturbing that Dan Hall has such close ties to ALEC. And it is hard to discern how much personal expense is being mixed into campaign funds -- especially when transportation expenses are involved. And the AIPAC conference also raises questions as to relevance for a state legislator.
His early reports had extraordinary details...almost to the point of obsession. But later reports have been more generalized.
Dan Hall has various references to Christian groups. He pays dues to their organizations and he advertises in their publications. Again, nothing inherently wrong with that, but relevance gets strained.
Yes, Dan Hall provides some entertaining reports. Can't wait for the next one.