Rep. Broun campaign loans questioned

Watchdog group files federal complaint

Friday, April 13, 2012 7:53 AM
Last updated 7:59 AM
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A nonprofit ethics watchdog filed a complaint Thursday with the Federal Election Commission alleging that U.S. Rep. Paul Broun illegally concealed the source of loans to his campaign.

Broun  Morris News Service
Morris News Service
Broun

The Republican congressman whose district represents much of the Augusta region loaned his campaign, the Paul Broun Committee, $304,000 in 2007 and 2008. The committee has paid him $29,756 in interest on the loans, according to FEC records.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which a released a report last month detailing questionable campaign and office spending by more than 200 congressmen, filed the FEC complaint after Broun told the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper the loans came from a bank, and he used the interest payments from his campaign to pay the bank’s interest.

Broun’s campaign said in FEC filings that the loans came from the congressman’s own pocket. If the money did come from bank loans, he broke the law by not reporting the bank’s name and what he used as collateral, according to CREW.

CREW called for a full audit of Broun’s campaign finances, including looking into whether the loan came from a Carrollton bank that Broun co-owned and his brother ran that failed in 2010.

If so, the loan could constitute bank fraud or an illegal campaign contribution, CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said.

“This could bring up a host of legal issues,” she said. “We just don’t know what they are yet.”

Tim Echols, Broun’s campaign treasurer at the time, said he outsourced the FEC filings and can’t remember where the loan came from. Broun’s press secretary did not respond to requests for comment.

CREW is also considering filing a complaint with the House Ethics Committee because Broun didn’t report the loan on his personal financial disclosure, Sloan said.

Broun spoke to the University of Georgia College Republicans on Wednesday night but didn’t address the CREW allegations. In his talk, he called this year’s election the most important one of students’ lifetimes because President Obama is “trying to destroy the free enterprise system.”

“I believe if Barack Obama is re-elected, I’m not sure this country can survive financially,” he said. “We’re headed for an economic collapse because we’re spending money we don’t have.”

Broun accused Obama of running “a campaign of fear and division” because he wants to end President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy and backs the “Buffett rule” that would force investors to pay the same tax rates as those who earn their incomes by working.

“What he wants to do is put taxes on job creators,” Broun said.

He said he wants to get rid of the U.S. departments of education and energy and the Federal Reserve, return money to the gold standard, eliminate taxes on corporate profits and capital gains and open up both onshore and offshore oil and natural gas reserves for drilling.

Broun also spoke about the 2009 health care reform law, calling it a threat to liberty.

“Health care can be used to dictate to virtually citizen virtually every aspect of your life,” he said.

If Republicans don’t repeal it or the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t strike it down — Broun said he’s confident it will be ruled unconstitutional — Democrats could force people to join gyms and drive electric cars and ban unhealthy foods like soda and cheese dip, he said.

“If Paul Broun believes that Obamacare will force people to drive an electric car, I suggest he read the bill again,” Democratic Party of Georgia spokesman Eric Gray said. “That’s the most dim-witted thing he has ever said.”

Broun has introduced his own health care reform plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system, give doctors tax credits for treating indigent patients, expand health savings accounts and allow hospitals to turn non-emergency patients away from emergency rooms.

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broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 04/13/12 - 08:07 am
6
0
whoa. did the chronicle just
Unpublished

whoa. did the chronicle just mention broun's failed bank? for all you who read this paper exclusively, surprise!

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 04/13/12 - 08:15 am
5
0
Heh. Broun would know well

Heh. Broun would know well about money being spent that he doesn't have. If Brouns' "wealthy" (here I mean people with over $250million) want to make a pre-emptive strike and maybe idunno, start creating jobs er whatever instead of whining about being taxed more then maybe the economy would show some semblance of getting out of this slump? Or maybe if they took a more active role politics and pressured their representatives and senators to achieve a balanced budget for the past 40 years (Nixon started it) then we wouldn't be in this mess. I think war is the stupidest unfunded mandate practiced by the U.S. Want a return to the good ol' days? WAR TAXES PAID BY THE WEALTHY. ***Tax. It's patriotic!*** The economic collapse will come regardless of who's in office. We can delay/ease it(sort of but not really) by inflating our money supply and devaluing the dollar. That seems to be one of the few things the Republic and Democratic parties can reach a consensus on.

faithson
5193
Points
faithson 04/13/12 - 08:28 am
5
0
Rep Broun is the perfect

Rep Broun is the perfect 'image' of how out of touch the west Augusta crowd are when it comes to what really matters to people. Why they allow this 'dingbat' to represent them is remarkable. Area republicans who support this guy only show how 'unremarkable' their ideas are about 'leadership'.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 04/13/12 - 08:40 am
3
0
kinda clubby, huh, faithson?
Unpublished

kinda clubby, huh, faithson?

nnaugusta
533
Points
nnaugusta 04/13/12 - 08:42 am
3
1
I'd vote for a swamp dog

I'd vote for a swamp dog before I'd vote for a democrat BUT...the republicans are imploding left and right. Stealing here, cheating there, sticking foot in mouth seems everyday. Whats a shift working guy to do? Guess I know where my cup of TEA is! (capitalization omitted on purpose)

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 04/13/12 - 08:43 am
0
0
Careful Faithson, you are
Unpublished

Careful Faithson, you are talking about the "stakeholders", and we must follow and idolize them at any cost. Seriously, maybe Broun should have stayed in the profession he was trained in. Or maybe that profession was too much for him.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 04/13/12 - 08:44 am
5
0
Hey Chronicle guys. Is Broun

Hey Chronicle guys. Is Broun a Republican? He sure associates, speaks to and socializes with them but your ace reporting staff never can seem to get around to calling him one.

But then again, just like Faux Gnus you ARE fair and balanced and of course entirley truthful. Sorta like the congressman you've endorsed. Yup that's the ticket.

I can hardly wait for the Robert Smock's of the CSRA to respond to this.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 04/13/12 - 09:30 am
4
0
"said he outsourced the FEC

"said he outsourced the FEC filings and can’t remember where the loan came from." I am a Republican but I have a real problem with these sudden convenient memory lapses. If he failed to reprt the loan properly, whether intentional or not, wouldn't he sound more responsible by saying he made a mistake and will do whatever it takes to rectify it? Kind of like Herman Cain and the women, he did not remember them, but they sure took their toll. If he had faced the problem head on, took responsibility, and went forward, he might still be a deciding factor today. There is nothing wrong with making a judegement error. the problem is denying it until it bites one in the rear and pulls the rug out from under one. The best way to neutralize the enemy is to play ball their way.

happychimer
18030
Points
happychimer 04/13/12 - 09:46 am
3
2
All Broun can talk about is

All Broun can talk about is negative lies about President Obama. He is obsessed . I tried listening to him a few times, but now I don't want to hear anything this moron has to say. As for calling him a moron, I have seen much worse on here our President called.

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 04/13/12 - 10:26 am
2
5
He may be a crook, liar, and

He may be a crook, liar, and maybe unethical, like 90% of the politicians in this country, but he is not a moron. Morons do not gradulate for College and then go on to medical school and become Doctors.

happychimer
18030
Points
happychimer 04/13/12 - 10:28 am
1
1
Have you ever heard of

Have you ever heard of educated fools?

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 04/13/12 - 10:31 am
3
0
Retired Army, second

Retired Army, second paragraph, "The Republican congressman whose district represents much of the Augusta region......"

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 04/13/12 - 10:33 am
1
2
Then call him a fool, not a

Then call him a fool, not a moron.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 04/13/12 - 10:38 am
3
1
Thanks JTF. Old eyes and in a

Thanks JTF. Old eyes and in a hurry. Have to disagree with your fool remark though. This moron is dumb enough to think he can fool all the people all the time. That's an educated beyond their usefullness moron in my book. Not to mention the wasted use of an education that could have gone to someone who really wanted to be a doctor.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 04/13/12 - 10:40 am
2
0
(moron means fool now. we
Unpublished

(moron means fool now. we don't use those iq score names anymore.)

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 04/13/12 - 10:46 am
1
2
Because you don't agree with

Because you don't agree with his views doesn't make him a moron. Again, he may not be an upstanding individual, but I would imagine he is smarter than anyone posting on an anonmous message board.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 04/13/12 - 10:57 am
3
0
stupidity can exist in
Unpublished

stupidity can exist in someone who passes tests at school. there are many types of stupidity.

justthefacts
22198
Points
justthefacts 04/13/12 - 11:13 am
0
1
LOL bsnm, I'm going to let

LOL bsnm, I'm going to let that meaty fastball right down the middle pass on by this time.

allhans
23776
Points
allhans 04/13/12 - 12:22 pm
0
0
Yep. We harp on that

Yep. We harp on that everyday.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 04/13/12 - 12:51 pm
0
0
Contrary to the beliefs of
Unpublished

Contrary to the beliefs of some, not everyone who manages to get elected to office aspires to every tenant of their respective parties. There are exceptions of course, and most of those holding a hard line are pilloried as extremists. I am a conservative and despise having to be pidgeon holed into one party label or another. The moral compass of America lies somewhere in between democrat and republican. Don't blame Paul Broun if he finds comfort with some tenets not clearly identified as republican, he's in good company, ask Ron Paul how far you get running as an independent.
CREW is hardly a non partisan watchdog group and has consistently made republicans the primary target of their investigations. It would appear on the surface Dr Broun has some "splaining" to do and I'd wait till all the facts are in before accepting CREW's witchhunt findings.
And to "Retired Army" there are approx 19 doctors in the congress/house, a microbiologist, 3 chemists, 3 physicists, a microbilogist, a biomedical engineer etc, more lawyers than you can count and most every vocation imagineable requiring a higher education. Would you please "splain" which occupations you approve for those who at some point decide to serve their communities?
Er...just forget it, if weren't this it'd just be some other spit ball you'd be aiming at a republican.....

constituent
164
Points
constituent 04/13/12 - 02:42 pm
2
0
Look like somebody got caught

Look like somebody got caught with their hand in the cookie jar!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/13/12 - 05:07 pm
1
0
That's moran.

That's moran.

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 04/13/12 - 05:37 pm
2
0
Y'all voted for Broun twice

Y'all voted for Broun twice when the Morris owned, Columbia County News Times, tried to warn you.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/13/12 - 06:59 pm
1
0
No I didn't.

No I didn't.

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