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One-On-One With Christine O’Donnell

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BRANDYWINE HUNDRED, Del. (CBS) – Christine O’Donnell made an appearance at her new campaign headquarters in Delaware on Friday and Eyewitness News was able to speak with her and ask some tough questions.

O’Donnell certainly is getting a lot of attention in this, her third run for the U.S. Senate in Delaware.

But not all of the attention is friendly.

Two weeks ago, a ground called CREW — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — filed a complaint against O’Donnell.

The complaint included a statement from David Keegan, a former O’Donnell financial advisor, alleging she used campaign funds for personal expenses.

Gas, meals … a trip to a bowling alley, which was labeled a “travel expense,” the complaint said.

Eyewitness News poured over the records dating back to January 2009 and had a number of questions.

For instance: Why has her campaign paid $15,000 in rent for a Greenville apartment where she lived?

Ben Simmoneau: “The campaign paid $15,000 in rent for a townhouse where you lived.”

Christine O’Donnell: “Well, that townhouse is our office where several of the campaign staffers lived.”

The Federal Election Commission says campaign funds cannot be used for a candidate’s personal use, including rent.

O’Donnell has only reimbursed the campaign for $1,500, roughly 10 percent of a year’s rent.

Simmoneau: “That’s a lot of rent money for a location where you lived, and I saw you only reimbursed about $1,500 worth?”

O’Donnell: “Yeah but a lot of our staff lives there. If you notice, we’ve got half these people working on our staff live at Greenville place, and they’re twisting the accusations.”

The interview was then cut off, but Simmoneau was able to ask one more question:

Simmoneau: “There’s questions about the bowling alley trip for $19 in Bucks County.”

O’Donnell: “Have you never appreciated your volunteers? Have you never taken your volunteers out?”

For any more campaign finance questions though, or to look at those specific receipts, Simmoneau was told to call O’Donnell’s attorney, who is based in Washington, D.C.

Simmoneau asked her to provide more information about $3,500 in payments to O’Donnell’s mother and payments to O’Donnell herself. In addition, two payments to O’Donnell’s former landlord when she lived in a Wilmington home.

The attorney says she will need time to respond to the request.

Eyewitness News also looked through Democrat Chris Coons’ campaign records, but we did not find expenses that raised the same questions.

Reported By: Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3

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