One former S.C. congressman has been out of office for a quarter-century, but his campaign account still is active.
Former U.S. Rep. Robin Tallon, D-Florence, who left Congress in 1993, still has his campaign account open with the Federal Election Commission.
Tallon has continued making withdrawals from the account over the years, including as recently as 2017, according to an investigation into “zombie campaigns” by the Tampa Bay Times and Tegna TV stations.
Tallon represented South Carolina’s 6th District for 10 years before he left office. He has spent the last 25 years working as a D.C. lobbyist without any apparent intention of running for office again. But Federal Election Commission rules don’t require politicians to formally end a campaign and wind down their accounts.
Tallon had $400,000 in his campaign account at the time he left Congress. By the end of 2017, that account had grown to $1,016,405.
In 2007, Tallon spent $4,000 from the account on a computer. He purchased another computer in 2014 for $2,300 from the account. In 2017, he spent $935 from the account on an iPad.
Between 2007 and 2011, the investigation found Tallon paid roughly $8,200 in “dues” to an organization identified only as “CCSC.” At the time, Tallon lived in a development called the Country Club of South Carolina.
Also, more than $31,000 has been paid out of the campaign account in “reimbursements” to Tallon, while another $20,000 was paid to a son listed as his campaign treasurer.
Tallon told the Tampa, Fla., TV station WTSP that he kept the account open because he had considered making another run for office.
But, Tallon added, he now is 71 and retiring from consulting. “I need to give that money away at this point.”