Report lists where Broun funds went

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ATHENS, Ga. --- U.S. Rep. Paul Broun is close to running out of money for staff, rent and other expenses, partly because he spent more than half a million dollars sending literature to potential voters in the runup to an election.

Mr. Broun had only $241,000 left at the end of July out of a $1.38 million office budget for 2008, according to federal documents that confirm recent reports about his spending.

But the Athens Republican insisted he will avoid becoming the first congressman to post an end-of-year shortfall and has no plans to close his offices in Athens, Toccoa or Evans.

"My office will finish this year without exceeding its appropriated budget," Mr. Broun said in a written statement. "In fact, we expect to actually return some money to hardworking American taxpayers."

But Mr. Broun's Democratic opponent, Bobby Saxon, said he does not see how Mr. Broun can continue to keep offices and staff in the northeast Georgia congressional district.

"To me, it's a huge deal, because it's all about constituent services," Mr. Saxon said.

Even if Mr. Broun cuts out the $562,000 he spent on printing and mailing costs in the first half of the year, he will have to slash spending by more than half to make ends meet.

Mr. Broun spent $406,000 on salaries and benefits; $54,000 on rent and bills; $24,000 on travel; $17,000 on equipment; $16,000 on supplies; and $62,000 on "other services" in the first half of 2008, according to the House Statement of Disbursements, a quarterly document listing congressmen's office expenses.

Those expenses total $577,000, more than twice the amount available to Mr. Broun for the second half of the year.

If Mr. Broun's office had not paid for the printing and mailing, he would be on pace to finish the year more than $200,000 under budget.

Mr. Broun said he plans to make "spending revisions" but did not give specifics, and spokesman Brian Partridge declined to comment.

Some staffers already have transferred to his re-election campaign, where they are paid with funds raised from political donors.

Mr. Broun seemed to blame former Chief of Staff Aloysius Hogan, who resigned last month, for mismanaging funds, although he did not mention Mr. Hogan by name.

"In connection with office operations, some management decisions were discovered that had adversely affected the budget," Mr. Broun wrote in an e-mail to the Athens Banner-Herald.

"As your Congressman, I accept the ultimate responsibility. I have already taken necessary actions to make sure that from this point forward there will not be a repeat of those issues. Even now, I am gathering and reconciling all of my office's financial data and enacting a budget that allows me and my staff to serve the people with excellence."

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cyou299 08/21/08 - 09:23 am
sounds like "I can quit

sounds like "I can quit anytime I want to". Having a spending problem is nothing to be ashamed of. Denying the problem is. Running as a fiscal conservative while spending like he's on shore leave...that's an integrity issue. There's no sense voting party lines for a candidate that talks right but walks all wrong.

Major Bobby Saxon served us in Iraq. He served us in Afghanistan. He served us at the Pentagon. He deserves that we give his campaign our standing attention. Time we had a Congressman that consistently makes sense.

heyandrew 08/21/08 - 08:25 pm
If this is fiscally

If this is fiscally conservative, I would be rather interested to see what his definition of "spend, spend, spend, is".

Politicians promise the earth to become elected, I never thought I would see the day, when a Georgia Congressman, elected on Conservative values, would use taxpayers money, rather than good common sense.

I can recall a former President of ours, with a big sign on his desk, stating "the buck stops here" The problem with the Paul Broun office, is that the buck did not stop there, it ran out the door into the arms of the United States Postal Service.

Now, we are all proud of the work that the postal service does, but I believe there are other ways to reward their hard work, rather than have their boxes heavy with self-promoting campaign literature.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Paul Broun was elected to be fiscally responsible. Actions speak louder than words Congressman Broun and it is up to the people of this district to decide, whether they wish to put their faith in a man, who clearly does not put money where his mouth is, or instead vote for a man, that not only put his life on the line for our country, but has taken to heart the call to serve.

iwannaknowthetruth 08/21/08 - 08:54 pm
ya'll voted for him, used car

ya'll voted for him, used car salesman or not??????

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