Congress Corruption Elections

Madison Cawthorn Is Flat Broke, Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Debt And Facing Criminal Charges: Report

North Carolina GOP Congressman Madison Cawthorn’s life is in complete shambles, and it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering the bad shit he’s done over the past couple of years.

First and foremost, Cawthorn is broke and cannot pay his campaign debts, which, it just so happened, he incurred for illegal purposes, meaning that in addition to soon being unemployed, he’s also facing indictment and time in prison if found guilty.

Roger Sollenberger of The Daily Beast reports that everything that can go wrong for Cawthorn is doing exactly that

With two weeks to go until a primary election he was fated to lose, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) was already underwater. His campaign held more than twice as much debt as it had cash on hand, the donor well was dry, and he and his staff were months into a madcap spending streak that one campaign source called “baffling.”

And now, after indeed losing that primary, there’s no money to pay the piper.

Specifically, there’s no money to repay the supporters who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in advance to Cawthorn’s election efforts beyond the primary—to the general election he now won’t be competing in.

That shuffling of money is illegal, and that complicates matters considerably for the soon-to-be ex-congressman, who is going to be hard-pressed to find an attorney who will represent him without a retainer:

The breach of fiduciary obligations follows a string of personal and professional embarrassments that hounded the one-term congressman across the weeks and months leading up to his primary defeat—accusations of insider trading, multiple alleged ethics violations, unforced public gaffes, and photo and video leaks designed to humiliate him.

But the campaign’s financial washout is more than another embarrassment; it’s against the law.

To borrow a phrase from Homer Simpson, D’oh!

But perhaps most confounding and embarrassing for Cawthorn is the spending reports which show how he managed to burn through so much cash so quickly. The details in federal reports sound like something a college frat boy would have done:

This person pointed to a spree of frivolous charges over the last year that all accelerated into 2022, such as $1,500 in “egregiously” frequent trips to Chick-Fil-A, almost $3,000 at a place called Papa’s Beer, three separate charges at a high-end cigar shop, $21,000 for lodging in Florida and—the biggest drain—hundreds of thousands of dollars in sky-high consulting and fundraising fees, including for Cawthorn’s friend and campaign manager, Blake Harp, who was drawing a salary beyond federal limits.

Jordan Libowitz, communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, says Cawthorn is screwed:

“There are few more ironclad rules in campaign finance than you can’t spend general election funds in a primary. There are strict limits on how much may be given and spent in each. If Cawthorn spent funds raised for the general during the primary and made no attempt to refund the general donations, he’ll likely be in a lot of trouble with the FEC.”

Beginning in January of next year, Cawthorn will no longer have his congressional salary, so he’s quite literally going to be jobless, penniless, and facing the prospect of legal action against him.

Sometimes karma is a very beautiful thing.

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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