Scrutiny rises as campaign and personal spending intertwine on national, local levels

By Alex Carolan and Billy Orme

When running for office, a politician should expect that every move they make will be scrutinized in the election process. After all, their role will be to serve the public.

Marco Rubio vows to disclose financial information to maintain credibility

Marco Rubio, a candidate in the Republican party is facing such scrutiny, according to the New York Times. The controversy occurred when it came out that he used a Republican Party credit card for personal purchases like the paving stones at his home.

Rubio vowed to disclose any of his personal finances and in an attempt to curb what would be considered his biggest threat to the election, according to the New York Times.

Other uses of the credit card included a family reunion, flights, and groceries, according to the New York Times. Though aides and Rubio thought that this controversy was concluded in the 2010 Senate election, politicians are bringing up his finances so that he'll be seen as careless with money.

While questionable finance practices gain more national attention when candidates, like Rubio are running for president the controversy still occurs on local levels, like in the city of College Park, Maryland.

Lawsuit and questionable financial reports cause District 1 City Council candidate to withdraw

Cory Sanders withdrew his bid for a District 1 City Council seat after a Washington Post article detailing errors in Sanders' resume and a lawsuit that was filed against him by a former employer effected his campaign.

The article was found marked marked up in red ink on the doorsteps of College Park residents. On Nov. 3, unofficial numbers showed that Sanders lost by close to 400 votes to former councilwoman Christine Nagle and by more than 500 to incumbent Fazlul Kabir, according to the Diamondback. 

By 4 p.m. on Wednesday Sanders was "deemed to have withdrawn."

The chief of the Board of Election Supervisors, Jack Robson said that candidates have to respond to a request about campaign finance reports from the Board of Election Supervisors in three days, or else they are considered to have withdrawn.

Robson said that a resident pointed out many of the discrepancies in Sanders' financial report, which was published on College Park's website.

“An inquiry was received from a voter by the board as to why some campaign media the resident had received did not show on the report,” Robson said. “Our question was, the only expenditure was signs and an inquiry was sent about the other material voters had received.”

The original financial report showed that Sanders had no expenditures, but the pre-election report filed on Oct. 26 showed he spent $735.93 on yard signs.

The difference between Rubio and Sanders reports are that the financials questioned in Rubio's case were already addressed in the 2010 Senate election, while the reports in question on Sanders' part caused him to withdraw recently.

It may seem like charging $110,000 in two years on a Republican credit card and having $16,000 of that be personal finances is more serious than a few discrepancies seen in Cory Sanders' case, but the questionable actions of Sanders and resulted in the withdrawal of a potential official who may not have been trustworthy. 

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