The current story
From Roll Call:
The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating whether Rep. Alex X. Mooney misspent campaign funds on personal pursuits and failed to properly report required information in his Federal Election Commission filings, according to a source familiar with the inquiry and related documents.
The inquiry, which began in March, asks for information about the West Virginia Republican’s $49,000 worth of campaign spending on resorts, meal purchases, car expenses and other expenses that CQ Roll Call reported on in October.
The OCE is also looking into expenditures made by the campaign at St. James Parish and St. Zita’s gift shop at the parish in Charles Town, W.Va., the lawmaker's hometown. Mooney’s campaign has spent over $19,000 since 2018 at St. James and St. Zita’s, according to campaign finance disclosures. Further, thousands in reimbursements Mooney received from his campaign, Alex Mooney for Congress, are under scrutiny. In 2020, four payments were made to Mooney from his campaign for over $2,500 with no disbursement description.
And then there are the chicken sandwiches:
Mooney also spent more than $1,900 in campaign money at Chick-fil-A over the course of 53 transactions, many of which took place near his residence.
(That comes to over $35 an order -- that's a lot of chicken sandwiches.)
Previous Mooney stories
I did a little research and found that this is not the first time that Mooney's ethics have been questioned. From last October:
Mooney's chief of staff says overseas airfare compliant with campaign spending guidance
(Note -- this may be a part of the current investigation.)
Back in 2012 in Maryland (before finding his way to West Virginia), Mooney ran to succeed his boss while staying on the congressional payroll:
State GOP head Mooney may have broken ethics rules by working for Bartlett
And this from 2006:
Mooney fined for finance violation
After redistricting, the next Republican primary may feature an Alex Mooney/David McKinley battle. It seems to me that McKinley, who had his own ethical problem with the OCE back in 2017, has a long way to go to be in the same league with Alex Mooney.
Note -- as reader LH points out, my math on Mooney's chicken expenditure is incorrect. It should be $35 rather than $350.
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