It looks like Jason Saine has some company. Senator Fletcher Hartsell has been dragged into court for alleged abusing his campaign funds for personal benefit. Jason Saine — chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee — has not. State Rep. Kelly Hastings — a close ally of Speaker Tim Moore like Saine — also had no primary opposition and has NO general election opponent. Yet, his campaign finance report indicates $76,709.56 in “campaign expenditures” during an election cycle when he has no one to run against.
Here are some, um, highlights from Hastings’s latest reports:
- Four payments to Hastings, himself, from 4/6 to 5/27/16 totaling $1295.99 for “reimbursement for monthly debt incurred” (Hmmm. Car Payments?)
- Multiple payments to Hastings, himself, from 2/1 to 2/28, totaling $1749.85 for “reimbursement of in-kind contributions” (I thought the whole idea of an in-kind contribution was that it was a donation of something material that you don’t expect payment or “reimbursement” for.)
- Payments of $1560.00 on July 31, and $1680.00 on August 30, to Hastings, himself, for “food subsistence etc.” (Note: The taxpayers — US — provide per diem payments to cover expenses like this for legislators when the General Assembly is in session.)
- And HERE is a doozy: A 9/30/15 payment to Hastings, himself, of $493.85 for “extra miles in Raleigh, postage & Shelby Rotary fee.”
All of you guys and gals in the GOP caucus who are facing tough fights for reelection, and are being pressured to raise money for a nearly-depleted caucus campaign fund, need to show your, um, *appreciation* to Saine, Hastings (and others to be named later). Instead of blowing all of that unneeded campaign money on iPads, suits, plane tickets, YOURSELF, and dinners, donating it to much needier colleagues might have been the more ethical, lawful thing to do.