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Heard on the Hill: Lankford’s Struggle to ‘Stay Afloat’

Running for Congress can be a hard, long and at times profitless enterprise, as Republican Rep. James Lankford discovered.

Roll Call noticed that the Oklahoma freshman paid himself $6,200 from his campaign coffers. Most of these funds were paid out less than two months before his election. 

“When he declared his candidacy in November of 2009, he had to quit his job with the Oklahoma Baptist Convention,” Lankford spokesman William Allison told Roll Call.

In the meantime, Lankford and his wife lived off their savings.

However, once the savings dwindled, Allison said, the Congressman made a one-time payment to “stay afloat.”

Put another way, Lankford put in for an increase to his debt ceiling.

According to Federal Election Commission rules, since 2002, it has been legal for candidates to pay themselves a salary out of their campaign as long as it doesn’t exceed the minimum annual salary for the federal office sought.

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