Donald Trump’s handmaiden, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), worked on Trump’s campaign and has continued to help him, even as chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Later, he creeped around in the middle of the night on a Trump errand. Now, the representative has been caught enjoying a very expensive lifestyle on campaign funds.
Two nonpartisan watchdog groups and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) have discovered how Nunes’ PAC spent nearly $43,000 on catering, hotels, meals, and site rentals in Las Vegas. He spent $7,229 in just seven high-end Las Vegas restaurants and hotels.
The watchdogs found that Nunes took political donations to buy almost $15,000 for Boston Celtics basketball game tickets and paid $3,594 at the four-star hotel the Omni Parker House in Boston. They also discovered he bought six luxurious winery tours for $5,000 and paid Gold Coast Limousine $5,000, too.
Leadership PACs run by congressional leaders were designed to let them donate money to other political campaigns. Unfortunately, these Congress members also use them for other so-called fundraising expenses.
Brendan Fischer and Maggie Christ authored a report by Campaign Legal Center and Issue One. The nonpartisan group keeps the spotlight on the ways Congress members use “leadership PACs to subsidize lavish lifestyles on their donors’ dimes.” The Fresno Bee reported that Fischer said:
‘They’ll say these are fundraising events, or say it coincided with a fundraiser, where they raised more money with donors. But at what point are they effectively raising money just to fund their next fundraiser?’
The Fresno Bee interviewed Nunes and asked whether he had any intention of holding some local forums or town hall meetings. He responded:
‘Your paper is a joke to even bring these issues up or raise these issues.’
A McClatchy reporter went up to Nunes to ask about his PAC spending, but he refused to comment:
‘I wish I could help you.’
Liz Mair Republican is a political strategist and head of the anti-Trump group Swamp Accountability Project. The organization currently funds anti-Nunes ads. She said:
‘Set aside that Nunes has got to be one of about 15 people in his district that spends the NBA season rooting for the guys from Teddy Kennedy’s turf instead of local favorites; the fact is, the FEC is not going to look favorably on a dude who uses his tax-exempt political entity like a personal slush fund, flying himself to Boston to watch them while apparently engaging in no activity relevant to the purpose of the political organization.’
Nunes spent $4,409 at the Sea Venture beach hotel near Santa Margarita, California. The representative itemized his Las Vegas, Boston, and winery charges as fundraising expenses.
Thus far, the representative raised over $7 million for his own re-election campaign PAC, named New PAC, in 2018. In the past, he only raised between $1 million and $2.5 million.
When Nunes attached his star to POTUS, he became well-known. That enhanced his ability to fundraise for the GOP. His New PAC gave about 52 percent of its money to other politicians’ campaigns and political committees.
Unfortunately, the House Ethics Committee rarely enforces its ban on using leadership PACs for personal use. The FEC has been cloudy on the matter.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.