Raleigh News&Observer has blown the whistle on seven members of the NC General Assembly for paying themselves out of campaign funds without itemizing how those payments constitute reimbursements for legitimate campaign expenses and are not merely being used for personal expenses, which is against the law.
Senator Dan Soucek of Watauga County is on the list along with Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville; Rep. Kelly Hastings of Cleveland County; Rep. Hugh Blackwell of Morganton; Rep. Rob Bryan of Charlotte; Rep. Julia Howard of Mocksville; and Sen. Warren Daniel of Morganton. All are Republicans.
The News&Observer investigation found that "most legislators meticulously detail expenses they pay with campaign donations. Meal charges list the date, amount and the name of the restaurant. Travel expenses usually list where the legislator went and why."
Those details are missing from the Soucek reports and from the other six. Instead, the seven legislators paid themselves thousands of dollars for “expenses related to holding public office,” a deliberately vague description which frustrates the intent of campaign finance law and masks what the money is really going for.
Soucek says "nearly all for mileage and cellphone bills."
"Mileage"? Gosh, don't we remember how the Republicans went after the late Steve Goss for mileage reimbursements during his tenure in the state Senate.
"Cellphone bills"? Calls to whom, Senator?