During the Republican presidential primary campaign this year, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, took aim at one of his rivals, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, in an ad, stating that he had been named one of the most corrupt members of Congress.
But it seems that Paul was too quick to point the finger. He himself has been named one of the 20 most corrupt members in Congress in a new report from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
"Most members on CREW's list violated the law, and all flagrantly ignored the rules," the group wrote. "For the majority, there have been few consequences."
CREW's report stated that over the last decade, there were several instances where Paul was "double billing" for his travel expenses.
The group listed Paul, who has always spoken out about fiscal responsibility, under the heading "dishonorable mentions."
"His ethics issues stem from improperly seeking double reimbursements for travel expenses," the report read.
It is not the first time that Paul's alleged double billing incidents made headlines.
In February, Roll Call reported that the Texas representative may have taken money from the government for trips that were already paid for. The Capitol Hill paper reported that Paul may have been twice paid for flights between Washington, D.C., and his congressional district, when the taxpayers and political and nonprofit organizations already made those reimbursements.
"Roll Call identified eight flights for which the Texas Republican, a GOP presidential candidate and leading champion of smaller government, was reimbursed twice for the same trip," the newspaper said. "Roll Call also found dozens more instances of duplicate payments for travel from 1999 to 2009, totaling thousands of dollars' worth of excess payments, but the evidence in those cases is not as complete."
CREW stated in its report that "by billing travel to his member representational allowance after the same travel already was reimbursed by the Liberty Committee, Rep. Paul may have committed the crime of conversion."
When the reports of double billing first broke, Paul's office denied intentionally receiving the multiple payments.
His spokesman Jesse Benton has told Roll Call that it was "possible that wholly inadvertent errors were made in a handful of instances" but that "absolutely zero taxpayer funds were ever misused."
Read the full report.
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...