Brown-Waite Raised, Spent Campaign Funds With Retirement Imminent

Editor’s Note – Another example of the entitlement mentality of Congress?

With a poll just coming out this week showing only 11% of Americans having confidence in Congress, actions such as this will not help the matter. 

It does not appear that any laws have been broken, however, the appearance of wrongdoing is there.  And, we don’t need to be reminded that percetion is reality in today’s world.


Brown-Waite Raised, Spent Campaign Funds With Retirement Imminent

By Laura Kinsler
The Tampa Tribune

BROOKSVILLE – Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite raised more than $120,000 in the months before she made the surprise announcement that she wouldn’t seek re-election because of health reasons.

Her announcement to withdraw just 11 minutes after the April 30 qualifying deadline has been widely criticized.

Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent said the four-term incumbent contacted him on March 31 – a month before the qualifying deadline — to recruit him to run in her place.

The same day, she collected $17,250 in contributions, according to her campaign fundraising report. And in the month between telling Nugent she was looking for a replacement and announcing she was retiring, she raised another $19,310.

Brown-Waite’s impending retirement didn’t curb her campaign spending, either.

In the first three months of the year, she spent more than $65,000. Those disbursements included $24,500 spent on voter surveys and direct mail. In the second quarter, she spent more than $30,000 on fundraising consultants.

Campaign finance records show Brown-Waite used her campaign credit card liberally, paying for airline tickets, expensive dinners in Vail, Colo., and a night at the swanky Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington D.C. Since January, her campaign charged nearly $8,500.

Two weeks after she asked Nugent to run for her seat, she bought a new computer and laptop from the Apple Store, priced at $3,700.

Two days after she withdrew, she spent $265 at Best Buy for computer supplies. Over the six-month period, she bought $3,500 worth of campaign software – most of after March 31.

Christian Hilland, a spokesman for the Federal Elections Commission, said Brown-Waite cannot keep any of that computer equipment. The campaign committee is required to sell or donate its assets.

Brown-Waite can keep her campaign account active for as long as she likes. She can make political donations to other candidates – a maximum of $2,000 per election cycle for federal candidates. Any donations to state or local candidates must comply with local limits.

She also can donate campaign funds to charitable organizations. She may refund contributions to donors, but is not obligated to.

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