WASHINGTON, D.C. — The liberal-leaning MN Progressive Project is reporting that Minnesota 3rd District Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen used campaign funds to pay his wife nearly $10,000, according to FEC filings.
It is not illegal to a pay a spouse with campaign contributions. A measure to ban the practice passed the House in 2007, but failed to become law.
At the time, the AP reported that backers of the ban said the practice showed the potential for corruption. Meanwhile, lawmakers who supported the option said that their spouses and relatives do valuable work on their campaigns and should be compensated like any other employee.
On Paulsen, the MN Progressive Project reports:
“Carolyn ‘Kelly’ Paulsen received payments starting in late August 2008. The payments continued until early December 2008, well after the campaign had ended. The payments were made as payroll disbursements and one travel reimbursement of $728.37, indicating that Congressman Paulsen appears to have hired his wife to serve as a staff member on his campaign in addition to providing for travel expenses.”
Reid LeBeau, who worked on the FEC filing for Paulsen, responded to the blog with this comment:
“Kelly Paulsen, spouse of Erik Paulsen, was employed as office manager with the campaign from approximately 8/15 until 12/15. During the transition period from 11/11 to 12/11, Kelly worked with additional campaign staff members to wind down remaining campaign operations.”