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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Watchdog group asks FEC to investigate Congressman Broun's campaign loans

Congressman Paul Broun, R-Athens
  • Congressman Paul Broun, R-Athens
A Washington, D.C.-based ethics watchdog wants (PDF) the Federal Election Commission to conduct a full audit into Congressman Paul Broun's campaign after it, according to the group, "illegally [concealed] the source of more than $300,000 in loans to his campaign in 2007 and 2008."

In a report released in late March about how members of Congress use their positions to benefit themselves and their families, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington chided the Twitter Pro for collecting more than $28,000 in interest on what he originally claimed were interest-free personal loans he made to his campaigns.

Broun subsequently told the Athens Banner-Herald that he never pocketed any cash and that the "interest his campaign paid on the loans went to the bank he borrowed the money from."

“The problem, however,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement, “is that even if Rep. Broun’s new version of events is true, failing to tell the FEC you are financing your campaign in part with bank loans is illegal.”

CREW says that federal election law requires candidates "to report which bank lent the money, how much was lent, and when. The regulations also require the candidate to specify the collateral put up to secure any loan."

The nonprofit's asking the FEC to find out the loan's origin — including whether the borrowed cash came from a Carrollton bank Broun co-owned and which failed in 2010. (We sent Broun's spokeswoman a line and will update once we hear back.)

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