On January 13, Colorado Ethics Watch, which recently shared its list of the top five ethics scandals of 2009, made a bid to kick off its 2010 roster. The organization filed a complaint against Representative Steve King to determine if money he got from the state to cover travel expenses was repaid by his campaign committee -- and offered up a 34-page document to bolster its case.
Today, King defended himself before a legislative ethics committee, where fellow legislator Mark Waller explained away the issue by calling it "a payday loan from the campaign account" in order to rent a car.
"He's a rural legislator who makes $30,000 a year," Waller continued. "He had car problems, and doesn't have money to rent a car. He says, 'Let me borrow from the campaign account.'"
The skinny comes courtesy of the Denver Post's Jessica Fender, who reports that King says he repaid the money last spring, long before Colorado Ethics Watch raised the issue. However, she writes, "When lawmakers sign a reimbursement form, they pledge that the amounts they're claiming have not and will not be reimbursed by any other source."
No word on whether King paid the state any interest.