Marcus Bachmann got $6,230 in gas money at the end of Michele Bachmann's 2006 campaign for the U.S. House. Not only is that a lot of miles, but it might have violated Federal Election Commission rules, the Daily Caller reports.
With the reimbursement rate at $0.44 per mile, that means Marcus had to drive 14,000 miles -- enough, the Daily Caller estimates, to crisscross Bachmann's district 58 times. Given that Marcus got reimbursed after the election, in an FEC filing that covered November 28 to December 31, it seems virtually impossible that he'd actually driven that much in such a short time.
If Marcus Bachmann was retroactively filing for miles he'd already driven during that campaign, that would put the Bachmann campaign in violation of FEC laws.
Apparently, that $6,230 wasn't even all Marcus got out of the campaign.
The curious reporting, covered first on blogger Ken Avidor's DumpBachmann.com, caused the Daily Caller's Matt Lewis to question how the Bachmann campaign would have accounted for the reimbursement if it hadn't had money leftover at the end.
This raises other questions, including: Would the money have been reported and reimbursed at all had Bachmann lost the campaign (or had the campaign ended in debt to other vendors)?In fact, Marcus already did donate to Michele's campaign -- in the form of gas money.
Failing to reimburse a spouse for something may seem harmless. But spouses are limited to the same contribution levels as any other citizen -- and $6,230 would have certainly exceeded the legal maximum limit.
In the same report, listing his employer as "Bachmann Clinic, LLC," Marcus Bachmann reported a $300 donation, dated December 11, 2006, which is described as "For personal use of vehicle."
Because 2006 was a presidential election year, any donations, including Marcus' $300 here, are tax deductible.
Then, later in the same filing, Marcus is suddenly working for "Bachmann for Congress," and getting reimbursed for tons and tons of miles -- 14,000 is also enough to let Marcus take a trip to Rio de Janeiro and back, if he's interested -- as if he's a regular old staffer.
In Bachmann's defense, thanks to the spelling error, this payment technically went to "Marcus Bachman," who might be some sort of mystery campaign assistant. How clever!
And let's not forget, Marcus Bachmann has to eat! So, here's a $106 reimbursement for food he bought at Sam's Club.
Unfortunately FEC reports don't force the campaign to document whether or not Marcus shared with anyone.
So, which is which? When was Bachmann for Congress staff member Marcus Bachmann driving for the campaign and shopping at Sam's Club, and when was Dr. Marcus Bachmann of Bachmann & Associates "donating" his mileage.
As always, the Bachmann for President campaign has no answers on this issue. Don't hold your breath.