West Virginia congressman facing possible ethics charges over campaign finances

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) — West Virginia Congressman Alex Mooney (R) is facing possible campaign finance ethics charges on Capitol Hill.

It’s not exactly clear where this investigation is going, but money usually spent for campaign signs, bumper stickers, polling and advertising went for European excursions. When questioned, Mooney’s advisers said it was all on the up and up. There was also a trip to California on Thanksgiving week, paid for with campaign dollars. He was re-elected last November by a comfortable margin anyway, but the wagons may be circling.

Mooney, whose district extends from the eastern panhandle, southwest across the state to the Ohio River, may have spent campaign funds for personal use and failed to report the expenditures, as required by the Federal Election Commission.

Thousands of dollars from Mooney’s campaign were spent at a church gift shop in his hometown, Charles Town. Another $10,000 was paid to Mooney personally with no accounting for the purpose, as is required under campaign finance rules.

His filings also show spending at a ski resort and more than 50 orders at a Chick-fil-A near his home, to the tune of $1,900. If Congressman Mooney is found to have violated campaign finance law, he can be disciplined. Calls to his Washington and district offices for comment were not returned.

Mooney may be somewhat of a political vagabond. He has run for office in three states — New Hampshire, when he was a college student; Maryland, where he was elected to the legislature but denied another term, and now to Congress from West Virginia.

The Mountain State will lose a seat on Capitol Hill next year because of redistricting, but it’s not yet clear how he might be affected by redrawing the lines.

While Congressman Mooney is elected from West Virginia, his legal counsel on the possible ethics violations happens to be the chairman of the Maryland Republican Party.

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