Beehive Blunders
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Beehive Blunders

There’s a missing report on Rep. Mia Love’s expenditure reports. Her campaign isn’t talking about it.

Love has used taxpayer funds for flights. Did she do so again?

In late March, Rep. Mia Love flew to Orlando.

In the next filing required by law, she was flying from Salt Lake City.

How did she get from one city to another?

Her campaign manager, Dave Hansen, did not return a call about it.

The record

Love (R-Utah) flew to Washington for votes on March 20, flew from there to Orlando on March 24 and was in Disney World for a previously reported fundraiser on March 26, according to U.S. House Disbursement reports and Federal Elections Commission documentation. Then Love was suddenly in Washington on March 27, as she voted.

There is no record of a flight from Orlando back to Washington, but of Salt Lake City to Washington.

Alliance for a Better Utah Communications Director Katie Matheson spoke to the lack of a record. Better Utah is a government accountability-organization.

“If it’s to be shown that she’s using taxpayer funds,” Matheson said, “that would be a huge concern.”

Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) took a flight between those from Washington to Orlando and to Salt Lake to Washington, but it wasn’t filed with the Federal Elections Commission, to whom federal elected officials are required to submit campaign expenditures. (MrConservative.com)

Love previously used taxpayer money for flights costing $537 and $1,160 in Feb. and Sept. 2015, respectively. She claimed to pay them back.

The filings in question, in summary, can be viewed here.

A possibility?

Based on timelines of campaign and official expenses and fundraisers, Love has typically paid for flights to fundraisers from her campaign account.

Click here to view a timeline of Love expenditures for trips between Feb. 27 and April 25, including an estimated four Disney World trips. One can see through the link that on multiple occasions when she was at fundraisers (March 6 and 17 and April 6 through 8), Love spent campaign dollars on flights, according to the federal documentation.

It’s apparent Love took a flight took between her flight to Orlando and her flight to Washington. Lodging for Walt Disney World is listed in between the commercial transportation on March 24 and 27, so she was in Orlando on March 26.

A message was left for Hansen on Dec. 22. He called back and it was returned, but that only yielded an automated voicemail indicating that it was full and no messages could be left.

The Love office had previously said to contact Hansen after it had been posed Federal Election Commission questions. The returned call went direct to his number.

“If it’s to be shown that (Love)’s using taxpayer funds, that would be a huge concern,” Alliance for a Better Utah Communications Director Katie Matheson said of a missing Love expenditure report.

“If (Love) made a critical error that somebody misfiled, that’s concerning but it’s not going to be the end of the world,” Matheson also said. “If she’s using taxpayer funds, that’s a much bigger deal.”

Members of Congress can fly back and forth to their districts on a flat government rate that’s paid out of their official budget. Flights to fundraisers must be paid for out of the campaign budget, which is reported on the FEC report.

Because it is unknown where Love was flying given the FEC report, figuring that out is the key. Here’s how that figures:

The government rate for a flight to or from Salt Lake and Washington is $445. Determinations when Love was in Washington can be made based on whether or not she voted.

Love was in Disney World on March 26 because there is an expense on her FEC report for lodging that day.

The cost of a flight from Washington to Orlando, based on official reports of other Orlando-area members, is about $337.

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Where Utah media falls short, and Utah politicians, really short.

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Rhett Wilkinson

Rhett Wilkinson

Rhett Wilkinson has won 13 journalism awards over 5 years of applying for them. Formerly of B/R, Screen Rant, and Patch. Also been a successful pro se litigant.

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