That’s right – the Tim Scott for Congress campaign paid Tim Scott the Business Owner $27,587 directly from the funds it received in donations from voters.
Before being elected in 2010, the representative of South Carolina’s 1st Congress Dist. operated Tim Scott & Associates, the company name he used to promote himself as a public speaker and conductor of seminars.
During the 2010 election season, this “Associates” business received two payments totaling $7,787 from Scott’s campaign coffers for “mileage reimbursement.”
Scott is also part-owner of Gideon Properties, a real estate management company that’s listed at the same West Ashley address of his former Allstate Insurance office.
In 2010, Scott’s campaign made 10 payments totaling $19,800 to this company for rent.
According to a report compiled by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Scott also listed Gideon as a source of personal income on his campaign’s personal financial disclosure statement, required of all congressional candidates, in 2010.
In this case, then, almost $20,000 in donations received by his political campaign were submitted directly to his company, and some of that company’s funds were then returned directly to Scott as personal income.
And that means your donations to Scott’s campaign didn’t benefit him just once, and not just twice, but three times.
Is this legal? Somehow, it is, according to two well-experienced campaign advisors who asked their names not be revealed. A candidate can rent campaign property from his own company, hire himself and his own company for campaign work, and reimburse his own company for any other campaign expenses, too.
But is it ethical? Well, for the best answer possible, picture those same two campaign advisors rolling their eyes very slowly in disgust. Those thousands in campaign payments were nothing more than personal profiting from political ploys.
Before voters consider making any three-for-one donations to Scott’s 2012 campaign, they should consider this first: there’s a new competitor on the slate. And maybe Bobbie Rose will only spend your money once.