When George LeMieux was appointed to finish out the final 17 months of Mel Martinez‘s U.S. Senate term in 2009, he said he would not run a re-election campaign.
Instead, he campaigned for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate in 2012. When he bowed out of the race that June, LeMieux again said he was done campaigning.
But weirdly, LeMieux’s campaign spending never stopped.
Even though this week marks seven years since LeMieux last actively ran a campaign, the former Senator has taken advantage of a federal campaign finance loophole to keep spending the $500,000 he had left over from his 2012 run to subsidize his life after Washington.
According to federal campaign filings, that includes an event at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, fees paid to a media booking company in 2014, and contributions to members of Congress that could be lobbied by the Gunster law & lobbying firm, of which LeMieux is the chairman of the board.
LeMieux’s failure to close his account within six months of ending his 2012 campaign, as the Federal Election Commission recommends, was first exposed by the Tampa Bay Times/10News WTSP Zombie Campaign investigation.