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Friday, December 29, 2006

Ohio Sen. Joy Padgett: Fuel Prices Hurt Less Now

COSHOCTON, Ohio (TDB) -- State Sen. Joy Padgett's campaign committee tapped leftover funds from the OH-18 congressional race to cover her mileage expenses, a recent filing with the Federal Election Commission shows. Padgett, a Republican, lost the House seat to Democrat Zack Space. Convicted felon Bob Ney used to represent the 16-county district in eastern Ohio, which went D on Nov. 8 and was the only House seat in the state to change party hands.

Padgett made an issue of energy costs but the FEC filing shows they did not pinch her as hard as Ohioans who can't get reimbursed from political donors when they are out looking for jobs. Padgett got $3,525.90 on Nov. 17, 2006, and $140.95 a day later, according to the FEC filing. Federal campaign committees were required to report their post-election spending earlier this month.

The report says only that Padgett received a post-election ''mileage reimbursement." It does not offer any details, nor does it disclose how many miles the committee's payment covered. It says the disbursement was "a refund or disposal of excess contributions" that is required under 11CFR400.63.

The Internal Revenue Service allows a 48.5 cents per mile tax deduction; at the IRS rate she would have driven 7,560 miles. OH-18 covers a lot of territory.

But why would any money be unused during the campaign? The Joy Padgett for Congress committee raised $816,772.88 and still has $7,300 left. If she really wanted that seat -- and really expected to hold it for the GOP -- wouldn't she have spent every dime she could raise before Election Day?

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