News and Magazine

  • Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s principal campaign committee just refunded him more than $1,100 for mileage.
  • Hagedorn died in February.
  • it’s unclear who received the money.

The campaign committee of a deceased member of Congress refunded the congressman for travel mileage months after he died, according to federal records.

The Friends of Hagedorn campaign committee refunded Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican lawmaker from Minnesota, more than $1,100 for “mileage” on September 20, a report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission indicates.

Hagedorn, however, died in February after a battle with kidney cancer.

The Internal Revenue Service’s reimbursement rate for travel mileage in 2022 is 58.5 cents per mile. By that measure, Hagedorn’s campaign reimbursed him for about 1,937 miles of travel. 

FEC guidance notes that congressional campaign funds can be used to refund travel costs incurred by a lawmaker, as well as their spouse and children, as long as it is “directly connected to the officeholder’s bona fide official responsibilities.” 

Given that Hagedorn is dead, it’s unclear who exactly received the reimbursement. The reimbursement itself is in Hagedorn’s name, and the address accompanying the reimbursement aligns with the one Hagedorn provided when filing his federal “statement of candidacy” documents in 2021.

Thomas Datwyler, the custodian of records and treasurer for the Friends of Hagedorn committee, did not respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

The FEC declined to comment on Hagedorn’s specific reimbursement.

Nonprofit news organization MinnPost reported in April that Hagedorn’s campaign refunded a significant amount of money to previous donors after Hagedorn died.

But as of September 30, Hagedorn’s campaign committee still had about $141,000 cash on hand, according to federal records.

FEC rules allow campaigns to account for “winding down costs” after a lawmaker leaves office. This allows campaigns to use remaining funds to pay lingering bills and otherwise close their operation.  

Congressional committees may also donate surplus funds to other candidates, federal party committees, and nonprofit charities. They also may disgorge leftover money to the US Treasury’s general fund.

Republican Rep. Brad Finstad now represents Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District after winning a special election in August.

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