LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a tea party favorite known as an anti-debt crusader, has some leftover business to deal with from his failed presidential campaign — more than $300,000 in unpaid bills.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2aCn3yB ), Rand Paul for President reported $301,108 in debts and $2,558 in cash on hand as of June 30 in its most recent Federal Election Commission filing.
Paul's campaign owes dozens of businesses and individuals for rent, insurance, telemarketing, phone and internet access, legal fees, consulting, facility and equipment rental and expense reimbursements promised to campaign workers.
Peter Kutrumanes, general manager of general manager of Hartford Technology Rental in East Dundee, Illinois, said his company won't do business with Paul again. His company is owed $3,962 for equipment leased to Paul's campaign.
"We're a little company," Kutrumanes said. "That amount, it's a salesperson's salary for a month. It's absolutely a big deal."
Brian Baltutat told the Lexington newspaper that he met Paul for several hours when his start-up company, Bell Metrix, connected the campaign with internet phone service.
Six months later, he's still waiting for the $500 the campaign agreed to pay him.
"The first thing we heard was that a check had been issued and was sent out. And then they said that they wanted to move it to their next quarter, so the payment would be coming to us a month or two later, in April or May," Baltutat said. "We haven't heard anything from them since."
After quitting the presidential race in February, Paul returned to Kentucky, where he has raised $3.1 million to run for re-election to the Senate this year against Democratic challenger Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington.
Paul will pay his bills, said his campaign spokeswoman, Kelsey Cooper.
In June, the campaign reduced its debt by $9,771. Overall, Paul's presidential campaign raised and spent $12 million, so the amount now outstanding is "less than 3 percent" of that total, Cooper said.
"Everyone will be paid in full," Cooper said, declining to give details on where or when that money might originate. "Closing down campaigns takes time, as evidenced by other presidential campaigns that are at similar stages of doing so."
The keystone of Paul's political career has been his opposition to deficit spending by the government.
Cooper rejected a comparison between Paul's rhetoric and his campaign's outstanding debt.
"It's beyond ridiculous to suggest that the very typical and normal proceedings of closing out a campaign have anything to do with Dr. Paul's stellar record of fiscal conservatism, particularly considering that he's returned nearly $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars from his Senate office operating budget back to the Treasury to date," she said.
Although his presidential campaign's bank account is nearly empty, Paul has options. One involves transferring funds from his other political committees that are more flush, the Lexington newspaper said.