Potential 2016 candidate faces scrutiny for PAC payments to family

CNN

Potential 2016 candidate faces scrutiny for PAC payments to family

By Jeremy Diamond, CNN | Posted - Dec. 30, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.


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WASHINGTON (CNN) — The first man out the gate in the 2016 race for the White House is already facing scrutiny over payments his PAC made to his wife and daughter.

A political action committee headed by Former Sen. Jim Webb, the Democrat who launched a presidential exploratory committee last month, has paid more than $90,000 to his wife and daughter — with close to half of that amount doled out in 2014 alone, according to FEC filings. The information was first reported by Business Insider.

A Webb spokesperson told CNN in an email that there was nothing illegal about the Born Fighting PAC payments to Webb's family.

"The payments mentioned in the article were well within the law and scrutinized regularly by outside legal counsel," the spokesperson said.

Webb's daughter, Amy Webb Hogan, drew most of the disbursements, charging her father's PAC $24,000 in 2014 alone for "administrative consulting services." Webb Hogan is the CEO of Webbmedia Group, a digital strategy firm based in Baltimore, though the payments from the PAC went directly to her.

Sen. Webb's wife, Hong Le Webb, made $13,800 in 2014 for "website services" and received more than $1,000 in travel reimbursements from the PAC. Sen. Webb was also reimbursed $4,100 in travel expenses, according to FEC filings.


The payments mentioned in the article were well within the law and scrutinized regularly by outside legal counsel.

–Webb spokesperson to CNN


The PAC has not spent any of its funds on donations to political candidates or groups since Oct. 2010, though it has continued to receive donations from supporters, according to FEC filings. And the payments to Webb's family amount to nearly 10% of all contributions the PAC received and only about 20% of donations to the PAC went to political candidates or groups, Business Insider reported.

The Born Fighting PAC continues to accept donations online and the website now also links to Sen. Webb's 2016 exploratory committee website.

Webb, a Marine Corps veteran, touted his bipartisan credentials and his military ties in a 14-minute video he posted last month announcing his intention to form an exploratory committee for 2016, which allows him to raise funds for a potential run and is typically the first step to formally announcing a presidential bid.

If he does, Webb will likely face former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democrats' primary process, who is expected to announce a presidential bid next year.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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