There was a story in the Daily Progress on September 1st titled “Garrett resolves spending issue,” concerning candidate for Congress and Virginia State Senator Tom Garrett (far-right “R”) using his State Senate campaign funds to pay for congressional campaign expenses.
Turns out, according to my sources, that the Daily Progress story was just the tip of the iceberg. Here are several other examples of where Garrett used State Senate funds for his congressional campaign (note: sources for the following information include the State Board of Elections, Federal Election Commission and VPAP, as well as my sources):
- Garrett took two “2nd Amendment Training Courses,” both taught by Phillip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). One was in Madison and one in Farmville. Both were advertised on Garrett’s congressional campaign Facebook page. Also, press releases were apparently sent out for both from his congressional campaign email. Van Cleave was paid $1,500 for one “training” with Garrett’s State Senate funds, and $1,500 for the other with Congressional campaign funds. The Hampden-Sydney room rental was expensed to Garrett’s State Senate account.
- Garrett expensed campaign gasoline to his State Senate account AFTER he announced for Congress on 12/23/15. These expenses were on 12/28/15, 12/30/15, 12/31/15, 1/4/16, 1/7/16, 1/11/16, 1/19/16, 2/1/16, 2/9/16, 2/11/16, 2/16/16, 2/18/16, 2/19/16, 2/22/16, 2/24/16, and 3/2/16. What campaigning was Garrett doing during this period for his State Senate seat (note: that election is not scheduled until November 2019), when everyone knows he was exclusively campaigning for his congressional campaign?
- For instance, Garrett attended the Albemarle GOP meeting on January 9, the Franklin County GOP meeting on January 11, the Charlotte GOP meeting on January 14, the Greene County GOP meeting on January 18, the Halifax GOP meeting on January 21, and the Pittsylvania County GOP meeting on January 28. These are just the January meetings he attended…plenty more in later months.
- 12/30/15– $830 at Jos A. Bank for campaign supplies
- 2/16/16– $60 at Red Nails Salon, classified as campaign supplies
- 1/20/16– $31 at Suk Alterations, classified as campaign supplies
- 2/16/16– $106 at Old Original Bookbinder’s Restaurant, classified as campaign supplies
- 2/1/16- $121 at Max’s on Broad St., $49 at Dogwood Restaurant, and $49 at Vagabond restaurant, all classified as campaign food
- 12/21/15– $189.72 at L’Opossum, a trendy Richmond restaurant, classified as campaign food
- November 2015– 18 separate gas trips expensed. Was Garrett really campaigning this much last November? Very hard to believe.
- 9/5/2012– $652 auto repair
- 12/7/15– $60 at Puritan Cleaners for campaign supplies
- 12/30/15– $127 at Ye Old Town Florist for campaign supplies
- Early December 2015– eight Amazon charges for “campaign supplies.” Was Garrett buying Christmas gifts with campaign money?
- 2/20/15– $308 at G-Force Karts (Paintball, Archery & Laser Tag) in Portsmouth for “campaign entertainment.” Was Garrett using campaign funds to entertain his children?
- There are many more examples, but you get the picture by now. Based on this record of ethical…well, lack thereof…Garrett would appear to be the exact type of person that voters do NOT want in Congress. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: don’t send him there, especially since there”s a much better choice (the highly ethical Jane Dittmar)!