Threatening the genuine small-government love that has endeared him to supporters, Ron Paul may have taken money from the government for flights his campaign and political action committees were already paying for. After looking through statements on a credit card assigned to Ron Paul & Associates Inc., Roll Call lays out its case that Paul double-billed many flights by matching prices and dates of plane tickets charged to his campaign or PACs and also to taxpayers:
Roll Call identified eight flights for which the Texas Republican, a GOP presidential candidate and leading champion of smaller government, was reimbursed twice for the same trip. Roll Call also found dozens more instances of duplicate payments for travel from 1999 to 2009, totaling thousands of dollars' worth of excess payments, but the evidence in those cases is not as complete.
Predictably, Paul's office "vigorously denies" the charge, saying that errors may have been made and that the double-billing could simply be that Paul had his wife or another companion travel with him. A Paul spokesman also said, "Roll Call did not provide Congressman Paul's campaign with copies of the credit card receipts it relied on in writing this article. Those records, if authentic, apparently were stolen from Congressman Paul's business office in Texas."
It's worth noting Paul's hands-off relationship with "Ron Paul & Associates Inc." in the past. That's the organization was one of two to publish Ron Paul's kinda racist newsletters in the '80s and '90s. Ones that Paul, while running for president in 2012, says he never ever knew about but probably did.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.