Like most veteran politicians, Representative Combest has built up a hefty warchest of campaign funds, but now that he's leaving office, that money has to be spent. As of the most recent report from the Federal Election Commission, Representative Combest has nearly $750,000 in unspent campaign funds.
Federal law makes it very clear where that money can go, and none of it can be for personal expenses. The cash can be used to pay off current campaign bills, to make either political or charitable donations, which by the way, means that some of it could go towards the campaign of a person running for Combest's seat, or the money could go to repay campaign contributors on a proportional basis -- sort of a political refund.
Since making his announcement to step down, the Combest campaign has spent just over $15,000. A figure not out of line with previous spending habits. Expenses include, postage, airline tickets, a visa bill, and printing Christmas cards. Since the beginning of 2001, the Combest campaign has raised $570,156, the bulk of that, predictably, coming from political action committees associated with the agricultural industry. During that same time, the campaign spent $374,732.
Although no decision has been made yet on what to do with the leftover money, in the past, typically congressmen have donated the bulk of their funds to charity.