WASHINGTON – While Al Sharpton (search) blasts John Kerry and John Edwards for their positions on gay marriage, the Federal Election Commission (search) has a few questions about the reverend's views on how to manage campaign financing.
Sharpton's campaign has paid him tens of thousands of dollars, and given little or no explanation. It has also received donations in excess of the $2,000 per-person limit. In addition, the Democratic presidential candidate's financial reports show the campaign has a little more than $1,000 on hand, but the candidate regularly stays in luxury hotels on the campaign trail.
The Sharpton campaign insists it has operated completely inside the law, and says any payments made directly to Sharpton are to reimburse him for campaign travel. But the FEC has asked the candidate to fill in some of the blanks, a request that is made frequently despite what one election watchdog says is something the FEC tries to avoid doing.
"It isn't necessary to adopt an austerity program to run for office, and, in fact, the FEC is very, very reluctant to get into these sorts of issues," said Paul Sanford of the Center for Responsive Politics (search).
Click here to watch a report by Fox News' Jamie Colby.