Submitted by markjohnson on September 24, 2009 – 8:06am.
Tags: campaign finance | Gary Bartlett | State Board of Elections | Steve Goss | Under the Dome
Sen. Steve Goss racked up $19,000 worth of mileage on his car over three years, but his campaign paid him for it over the course of four months.
That’s not how campaign finance is supposed to work, according to State Board of Elections officials.
Goss, a Democrat from Boone, received three payments for mileage between October of last year and January of this year that totaled about $19,000. At the current federal reimbursement rate of 55 cents a mile, that’s about 35,000 miles.
Goss said this week that during his first campaign, in 2006, he didn’t want to deplete his campaign account by paying mileage.
“That goes all the way back to 2006, when I started this,” Goss said. “I never had enough money to pay myself travel.”
Instead, he kept a log of the mileage, including driving around his district on official business after he was elected. By late last year, when he ran for re-election, that mileage had added up.
In October 2008, Goss paid himself $4,000 in campaign money for mileage and another $5,800 in November. He paid himself another $9,000 in January of this year.
State elections officials, however, said mileage should be paid during the reporting period in which it is accrued. Candidates file quarterly reports during election years and semi-annually in non-election years. Goss could have recorded the mileage in each report as a loan to his campaign and then paid himself after building up enough in the campaign account, said Gary Bartlett, the elections board’s executive director. Bartlett said Goss will have to amend his reports to correct the information.