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Racking up the legal bills

Former Rep. Mark Foley isn't the only member of the Florida delegation - past and present - to spend campaign cash on legal fees.

The Washington Post noted this morning that Republican Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, whose 2004 race for the U.S. Senate has raised flags with the Federal Election Commission, reported in his latest campaign filing that he's paid attorneys at DC-based Patton Boggs "a little more than $4,800" this year and has $5,149 in unpaid bills.

And Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, who says he's "voluntarily cooperating" with the FBI as it looks into a 2003 golfing trip he took with former super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, reported paying spending $23,121 at Patton Boggs.

Foley, who is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, reported paying more than $200,000 in legal fees between November and January. His campaign committee, Friends of Mark Foley, has more than $1.72 million in the bank. The former West Palm Beach Republican resigned in September after sexually explicit instant messages between himself and teenage pages surfaced.

None of the members of Congress gave details on the costs, but noted the money went to legal services or expenses.

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