Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu blames sloppy bookkeeping for the misuse of nearly $34,000 in taxpayer dollars used to fund more than 12 years of campaign travel, her office announced on Friday.
Landrieu’s campaign reimbursed the $33,727 charged to her Senate office and used to charter flights for campaign travel.
The reimbursement comes a month after Landrieu ordered an audit of her office’s travel spending to identify incorrectly-billed campaign travel, following CNN‘s report in August that a chartered flight Landrieu took for a campaign fundraiser last November was paid for with tax dollars.
Her office ordered a review of all her flights and found that 163 campaign events over the course of 43 trips were paid for using Senate office money.
— Talk 920 | Atlanta (@Talk920) September 15, 2014
The three-term senator the said the “mistakes” may go all the way back to 2002 and stem from “sloppy bookkeeping.” Apparently, the flights were charged to her Senate office rather than her campaign.
“I take full responsibility. They should have never happened, and I apologize for this,” Landrieu said in the Friday statement.
“No matter how Senator Landrieu spins it, she billed taxpayers for dozens and dozens of private jet flights since the turn of this century,” said spokesman John Cummins for Republican Bill Cassidy, Landrieu’s closest challenger in the heated race. “Even more problematic is the fact that she did not release any flight records from 1997-2002 … Given Sen. Landrieu’s own admission of faulty oversight, how do taxpayers know that problems did not exist prior to 2002?”
The Republican campaign also accuses Landrieu of not having a permanent address in the state she serves.
— News Radio 1230 (@ABC1230News) August 29, 2014