2012 Presidential Election
1:21 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

How Far Does $1.09 Go Towards Office Supplies? Ask Ron Paul

A big part of Ron Paul’s Libertarian-informed message is fiscal conservatism. And he has the campaign records to prove it.

ProPublica surveyed the campaign finance filings of the Texas congressman running for the GOP presidential nomination, and found that Paul’s campaign cataloged practically every petty cash expenditure – even though candidates don’t need to write down individual expenditures totaling less than $200.

Pro Publica notes:

Every bank fee, every 22 cents at a FedEx, every $1 toll on the Florida turnpike, every $5.09 pit stop at any Starbucks anywhere, every doughnut from Dunkin' Donuts and Dough Nutz -- it's all right there, itemized in the Paul campaign's copious expenditure reports. In 160 instances so far, the campaign has reported purchases costing a single dollar or less.

This comes in contrast to reports from the other GOP primary contenders, and President Barack Obama’s campaign:

Sure, there's the odd $1 rental car expense for Mitt Romney's campaign, a few $5 bank fees for Newt Gingrich, and the inexplicable one-cent expense reported by Rick Santorum to theStoney Creek Inn in Johnston, Iowa. But generally, they don’t sweat the small stuff.

By and large, neither does President Barack Obama’s campaign, which explains on its reports that it specifies travel reimbursements totaling over $500 to any individual and payments to vendors that exceed $200 for the election cycle, but otherwise doesn't itemize.

The itemizations will surely continue as Paul begins his swing through Texas this week, beginning with an appearance at Texas A&M University on Tuesday, April 10.