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House hopeful flies on backer’s plane

A U.S. House candidate in Idaho has been flying to campaign events on a private plane owned by one of his supporters, despite federal law that generally prohibits prospective office holders from paying for non-commercial flights.

Bryan Smith, an Idaho Falls lawyer seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson in Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District, flew June 27 to campaign events across the state aboard a plane owned by Phenix of Idaho.

Phenix is an Idaho Falls-based construction company and federal contractor founded by Doyle Beck, a Smith backer whose family has given the candidate nearly $13,000 for the May 2014 primary.

According to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, however, House candidates are forbidden from making expenditures for noncommercial aircraft travel.

Smith’s campaign says it’s looking into potential violations.

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