U.S. Rep. Paul Broun improperly reported the source of $179,000 in campaign funds, but the Federal Election Commission is not punishing him because the statute of limitations has expired.
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington accused Broun's campaign committee in 2012 of repaying—with interest—personal loans he had made to his campaign in 2007 and 2008, meaning the congressman personally profited off his donors.
Broun later said that the loans were a second mortgage on his house, not from his personal funds, and that the interest was paid to the bank. Since Broun's treasurer had claimed in campaign finance disclosures that the source was a personal loan from Broun, CREW then filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that Broun's campaign committee misreported the source of the money.
Broun's campaign admitted to the allegations, but the FEC dismissed the charge because the statute of limitations expired two months after the complaint was filed. (The FEC's ruling came nearly two years after the initial complaint.)
“A real enforcement agency would take its duties seriously, meting out severe penalties for the Broun campaign’s deliberate violations of campaign finance law," CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a news release. "Rep. Broun deliberately concealed the source of the loans and the FEC let him off scot-free. Given Rep. Broun’s track record, the FEC should be reviewing his Senate campaign reports with a fine-tooth comb."
We've asked Broun's office for a response and will post it if we get one.