The Super PAC supporting Mike Huckabee paid a travel company he runs just under $30,000 this May, according to FEC records first reported by the campaign money watchdog OpenSecrets.
It's not the first time the Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor, who is listed as the manager of Blue Diamond Travel, LLC, has had one of his companies benefit from his political campaigns.
During his 1992 bid for the Senate, which he lost to Dale Bumpers, Huckabee's campaign paid more than $17,000 to an unincorporated firm named Cambridge Communications. According to a report from the time in The Commercial Appeal, the company provided "television and print production services for the campaign." Huckabee was its lone employee.
While Huckabee wasn't penalized for this practice, he was hit with a fine for an ethics violation related to his 1992 campaign. The Arkansas Ethics Commission found that, in reporting his sources of personal income, he omitted the $14,000 his campaign paid his wife, Janet, for her contributions as a campaign treasurer. At the time of the fine, which was levied in 1998, his lawyer told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the failure to report the money was a mistake and that it had been reported on other public forms, such as the campaign's financial reports.
Huckabee was also fined another $500 in 1998 for taking over $43,000 from the Huckabee Re-Election Committee while running to be re-elected as Arkansas' lieutenant governor in 1994. The ethics commission argued that he used the money for a personal plane and then neglected to report it as a source of personal income.
Politico reported in 2007 that Huckabee later sued the ethics commission, claiming that its investigations infringed upon his due process rights. The commission responded by suing him. The parties ultimately settled out of court.
Christopher Massie is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Christopher Massie at Christopher.Massie@buzzfeed.com.
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