Biden pays off much debt, Giuliani a little, Ron Paul still has zero

Joseph Biden, who’s been regularly claiming he’s not “the guy” who will be Barack Obama’s vice presidential selection, was busy in July paying down the debt from his own, unsuccessful Democratic presidential campaign.

Using federal matching funds, Biden slashed his debt to $173,999 from $1.15 million the previous month, according to Federal Election Commission records filed Wednesday. Biden spent $13.8 million on his candidacy and dropped out of the race after a poor showing in Iowa.

Biden’s July expenses included giving refunds of $2,300 to the man known as Mississippi’s best-known attorney, Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, and Scruggs’ son, Zach Scruggs.

Scruggs, a longtime major donor to Democrats nationally and the brother-in-law of Republican Trent Lott, gained fame and wealth by suing asbestos manufacturers and tobacco companies.

His fortunes turned downward in March when he pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a judge who handled a suit over how to divide $26.5 million in legal fees from an $89-million settlement over Hurricane Katrina claims. He reported to prison earlier this summer to begin a five-year sentence.

Son Zach Scruggs, also a lawyer, admitted knowing about the felony and not reporting it. He’s serving 14 months in prison.

LA Times Blog