INDIANAPOLIS (April 24, 2016) — A Republican congressman running for Senate in Indiana billed his campaign more than $2,000 in airfare for his family’s trip to the Ronald Reagan library in California, money the candidate has since reimbursed after the report first came to light in a story from the Associated Press.
Federal Election Commission guidelines forbid the use of an official campaign fund for personal expenses.
Stutzman was first elected to Congress amid a wave of tea party insurgency in 2010. He has regularly found himself at odds with members of the GOP establishment and says he was sent to Congress to rein in spending.
Stutzman’s campaign manager, Joshua Kelley, released the following statement to FOX59 earlier in the week:
“Marlin Stutzman went on a campaign trip to California where his family accompanied him. All personal time was paid for out of Marlin’s pocket. There is only one candidate charged with wrongdoing by the FEC – that is Congressman Todd Young.
Marlin reported to the FEC that he paid the campaign for the family’s portion of the airline travel.
The Hilton hotel room in California that the AP reported on does not exist. The campaign did not spend one dollar on accommodations for Marlin and his family on that trip.”
Then Stutzman released a statement of his own later in the week, saying in part:
"The AP’s attempts to distort the facts of my campaign trip to California last year are irresponsible... I went on a campaign trip to California last summer and my family joined me for the trip. All personal family time on the trip was paid for out of my own pocket. Attempts to call this trip anything other than a campaign trip is poor journalism and a distortion of the facts.”
In the video above, our panelists discuss the latest campaign controversy and this past week's debate between Stutzman and his opponent, congressman Todd Young.