GOP Senate Candidate Billed Vacation to Campaign Funds

Republican Senate candidate and current Indiana Rep. Marlin Stutzman billed an August 2015 “family vacation” to his campaign, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press. The Tea Party-backed congressman’s campaign is said to have paid more than $2,000 for four airline tickets to Los Angeles—for Stutzman, his wife, and two kids—and covered expenses for a van rental and Hilton hotel room. Stutzman’s campaign manager claims the candidate repaid the campaign fund after the AP began asking questions, but only “in the interests of full disclosure,” as Stutzman’s attorney deemed the trip a “legitimate” campaign expense because his family appeared with him at unidentified “political functions.” According to the AP, the California trip is just a portion of the $300,000 of flights, gas mileage, meals, and hotels the campaign has paid for since 2010. Federal Election Commission rules expressly forbid the use of campaign funds for personal expenses.