It’s 2019 and Jim Moran has been out of Congress for over four years, working as a well-paid lobbyist. So why is his campaign finance account still paying his bills?
The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) has discovered that Moran’s federal campaign committee is still active and paying some of Moran’s personal expenses. According to a letter sent by the FEC to Moran’s campaign treasurer, in September 2018 the campaign paid $1,926.84 for Moran to stay in at the posh Jared Coffin House hotel on tony Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.
Moran’s federal campaign account has a cash-on-hand balance of more than $180,000. Candidates are allowed to donate leftover funds to active candidates or to charity but cannot use the money for personal expenses. The FEC said in the letter, “Your most recent report discloses a significant amount of residual cash on hand. While a committee of a former candidate or officeholder may remain open for winding-down purposes, your reports do not appear to indicate that the committee is winding down.”
Asked by CNN about the letter, Moran said that it was a campaign expense because he was staying at the luxury hotel to attend a weekend fundraiser for incumbent Congressman Bill Keating of Massachusetts. Moran said he would write a personal check to reimburse the expense if required, but said he was just following the “standard practice for decades” of keeping old accounts open and claimed he knows “hundreds of former members who have much larger … campaign accounts.”
Former FEC associate general counsel Adav Noti told CNN, “If you are not a member of Congress and you are not a candidate, there’s nothing else it could be, except a personal expense.”
The FEC demanded Moran’s treasurer respond within 35 days with an explanation of why so much cash is still left in the account and what they plan to do to close it out.