Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) re-election campaign said Tuesday that it will have to amend its Federal Election Commission report after it made a mistake accounting for its roughly $53,000 of get-out-the-vote cash, according to The Clarion-Ledger.
The Clarion-Ledger report on Tuesday follows a report at journalist Charles C. Johnson’s Gotnews.com on Monday night which said that the Cochran campaign reimbursed Cochran staffer Amanda Shook, the director of operations for the Cochran campaign, a significant amount of money while listing the reimbursement as “Reimbursed Expense — Campaign Walkers.”
The amount of money Shook received through the reimbursements included payments in the rage of $8,000 to $15,000.
FEC rules say that staff can only be reimbursed for food and travel costs. Any other reimbursement is seen as a “contribution.” The Clarion-Ledger also noted that such a contribution is limited to a maximum of $2,600.
A spokesman for the Cochran campaign called it a “screw up.”
“People screw up FEC reports all the time,” Cochran advisor Austin Barbour said. “We haven’t gotten any notice from the FEC on it. You are allowed to go back and amend a report. You are encouraged to go back and amend reports.”
Barbour told the Clarion-Ledger the filings were due to a mistake from the Cochran campaign’s treasurer and that they should have been listed as payments to “dozens” who did get-out-the-vote work for the Cochran campaign.
“Amanda, as director of operations, is like our office manager,” Barbour said. “So she would run to the bank to get cash to pay field workers.”
The campaign for state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who challenged Cochran in the primary and is currently gathering evidence to possibly wage a legal challenge to fight the results of the runoff election, released a statement in response to the GotNews.com report. It said:
The allegations of criminal misconduct against the Cochran campaign and his close associates continue to mount. Mississippians deserve a full accounting of the unbecoming tactics of the Cochran campaign used in their attempt to drive ineligible voters to the polls in June.