Before anyone can complain about Trump’s trick, though, they should check Tim Scott’s campaign records. The South Carolina Senator has been doing the same thing for years.
When he first ran for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District back in 2009, Scott used his insurance office as campaign headquarters. His Gideon Properties owns that building. The Tim Scott for Congress campaign paid Gideon for use of that same Scott-owned building used by the Scott-owned business, ranging from $900 to $2,500 a month.
The campaign also paid Tim Scott & Associates close to $8,000 for use of a vehicle, and Scott also reimbursed himself directly another $1,000 for mileage. The three images below cite those "campaign expenses" using records from the Federal Election Commission.
But Scott’s campaign began been paying Dan Martin Agency $1,500 a month for “rent” inApril 2011. And not only was that agency continuously paying Scott for the business purchase for over two years, but Martin continuously paid Scott's Gideon Properties, too, which still owns the building. So in that 2012 election cycle, Scott began funneling campaign donations to Dan Martin Agency, which was sending the money back to Scott through two different avenues (purchase of the insurance agency and rent to Gideon).
In the same 2012 election cycle, he continued to send campaign donations to Tim Scott & Associates (about $1,400 for “mobile”), and pocketed over $4,000 for use of his own vehicle, too.
And even though he's no longer half-owner of Gideon Properties, Scott never gave up that field of real estate. He simply launched a new real estate venture, Rivertown Investments.
Scott's done it directly to himself - directly to his Tim Scott & Associates - creatively through renting the space his insurance business that he already used, and paying that rent to the real estate company he owned - and sneakily by paying the company that bought his insurance business, which circled the money back to him directly and to the business he owned.
Think twice before donating to his campaign - and before voting for him this year, too.