Roll Call's Jonathan Strong reports that presidential candidate Ron Paul billed the government and private institutions for the same flights, many times:
In March 2005, David James called Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Texas) Congressional office for some documentation.
James's nonprofit group, the Liberty Committee, had paid for one of Paul's flights, and James needed a receipt or boarding pass to document the expense. He'd been pushing Paul for the paperwork and now, on the phone, he was "putting his foot down."
"So I called the office manager," James recalled. "They knew me, like, as well as they knew Ron. And I said, ‘Liberty Committee is paying for this expense. I need to get the boarding pass or the ticket or something.'"
The office manager said Paul's Congressional office no longer had documentation for that flight; Paul had sent it in to the House Finance Office for reimbursement. But Liberty Committee had already sent a check to American Express to cover the charge on Paul's credit card.
When confronted about this incident by James, Paul apparently said, "Yep, well, happens all the time."
In an email, Strong tells me how much money Paul allegedly received by filing for and receiving double reimbursements. "There are 26 flights we can prove," Strong writes, "the excess payment for those is $14,688.58. There are 31 other flights where it appears he was double reimbursed but we don’t have three layers of proof like the other flights. Including both those categories, there are 57 flights for $32,225.08 in excess payments. These occurred over 17 nonconsecutive months."
And Strong has this response from the Paul's spokesman:
Spokesman Jesse Benton said then it was “possible that wholly inadvertent errors were made in a handful of instances” in which flights were reimbursed twice, but he maintained that “absolutely zero taxpayer funds were ever misused.”