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Andrews Refunds Campaign

Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., said on Tuesday that he would reimburse his campaign the $9,000 in contributions he spent to attend the wedding of a donor and unpaid adviser in Scotland. 

Andrews paid $7,725 to stay at the luxury Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and bought the couple a present worth more than $450 from Bloomingdale's.


Though he was paying back the money, Andrews insisted in a statement that "all personal aspects of the trip were paid in full from our family’s personal funds."

Andrews maintained that he has always "followed both the spirit and the letter of campaign finance laws," but that he was relenting because the episode, first reported by The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., had become a distraction.

"Discussions about this issue will interfere with the work my constituents have entrusted me to do," Andrews said.


Mary Boyle, a spokeswoman for Common Cause, said the spending spree was "the kind of thing that gives Congress a black eye" with the public.

Andrews said he would donate the refunded money to a homeless veterans fund on Tuesday.

Andrews represents a solidly Democratic New Jersey seat, which President Obama carried with 65 percent of the vote in 2008. He has run unsuccessfully for statewide office, losing a U.S. Senate primary in 2008, but is believed to still have ambitions beyond the House.


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