Maine’s Majority Asks: Did Andre Cushing Double Dip?

Posted on January 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Sure does look that way. From today’s press release:

Rep. Andre Cushing (R-Hampden) used his “Respect Maine” political action committee to pay registration fees and travel expenses associated with his attendance at last summer’s meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). However, identical charges also appear on approved legislative reimbursement forms covering expenses from the same time period. The duplicate transactions total $1,559.03.

An analysis of both sets of reports revealed the following:

  • Cushing sought taxpayer reimbursement of $575.00 on a July 18, 2011 legislative expense form for “Registration for ALEC annual meeting New Orleans, LA,” dated July 7. On July 8, Cushing’s political action committee disbursed $575.00 to a payee named “American Legislative.”
  • Expenses of $209.90 (7/12) and $237.40 (7/19) to Continental Airlines and an unnamed air carrier appear on the same reimbursement form. These charges are associated with Cushing’s travel to an NCSL conference in San Antonio. Cushing’s PAC reported payments to Continental and AirTran for the same amounts on 7/14 and 7/21, respectively.
  • An ALEC-related reimbursement of $284.40 to US Airways (7/14) also appears on the July 18 legislative expense form. On the same date, Cushing’s PAC reported separate payments to US Airways of $39.00 and $245.40, a total of $284.40.
  • A subsequent legislative expense form dated August 15 shows Cushing receiving taxpayer reimbursement of $232.33 for lodging at the San Antonio Marriott (8/8), and a $20 AirTran baggage fee (8/12). The PAC report lists identical expenses on July 10 and July 15, respectively.
  • Gerald has written to Rep. Cushing for a statement and will update this post when we know more. Meanwhile, Maine’s Majority has submitted a new FOAA request for Cushing’s remaining legislative reimbursement records.

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