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Loaning a Campaign Cash but Not Writing It Down

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FEC records indicate Rep. Paul Broun’s campaign paid him nearly $29,000 in “operating expenses/loan interest” in 2010.

An attorney who specializes in campaign finance, who asked not to be identified, said Members do not have to accept interest, even if they list it on their campaign finance reports.

“My experience is that many candidates don’t actually pay the listed interest to themselves — they just forgive it after their last campaign, which is a personal contribution to their campaign,” the attorney said. 

But individuals familiar with the House ethics process said the disclosure process is not triggered by whether a Member actually receives interest payments, but merely by whether the lawmaker charges an interest rate.

Correction: March 21, 2011

The article incorrectly stated that Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) did not report personal loans on his campaign finance report. He did not report them on his most recent personal financial disclosure report. 

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