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Reporter Bill Conroy (who recently uncovered the Palin tanning bed story with Al Giordano) found that McCain has been billing his campaign for air tickets to, and luxury spas in, Southeast Asia.  Conroy's article extensively documents the expenditures.  FEC regulations prohibit a candidate from paying for personal travel expenses.

Here's the digg link to the article - digg it up and read on.

Quoting from Bill Conroy's article:

Air Flights

Expenses dispersed July 1, 2008:

Thai Airways International: $741.80

British Airways: $1,549.15

Expenses dispersed July 2, 2008

Air Singapore: $7,335.42

British Airways: $2,690.56

Hotel Stays

Expenses dispersed July 2, 2008

Vinpers Resort Spa, Khanh Hoa Vietnam: $498.75

[Note: Khanh Hoa is a province of Vietnam; its capital is Nha Trang.]

Caravelle Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: $539.87

Raffles Hotel, Singapore: $1,418.91

Also of note is a $160 expense dispersed on July 2, 2008, to the Department of State marked as   a "travel" expense.

There is no record of John McCain making a campaign visit to Singapore or Vietnam during his presidential bid through July 2. Fox News reported on June 24 that McCain was scheduled to visit Colombia in early July [a trip he did make that coincided with the miraculous rescue of American hostages held by Colombia's leftist guerilla group the FARC]. McCain's campaign staff reports, according to Fox News, that as a candidate McCain has made prior overseas visits to Iraq, Kuwait, France, Germany, Switzerland, Pakistan, Jordan, Israel, the United Kingdom and Canada.

But, again, no mention of Vietnam or Singapore.

While I don't think there will be significant fallout from this, it's a perfect story that can simmer for the duration of this week in the blogosphere, timed to nail McCain next weekend (right after the debate).

Also, just the phrasing of this problem for McCain looks bad: "McCain violates finance laws" - all at a time when the financial system is going down in flames.

Give Bill Conroy's article a read and a digg.

Originally posted to barath on Sun Sep 21, 2008 at 05:09 PM PDT.

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