FEC Considers Barring Politicians From Using Leadership PACs as Slush Funds


The FEC has had the opportunity in the past to explicitly state whether leadership PAC funds can be used for personal use.

On Monday, the Federal Election Commission announced that it is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would stop politicians from spending political contributions on personal expenses such as golf club fees, luxury resort stays, and fine dining. 

If the FEC amends the regulation in question, it would explicitly add a type of fundraising vehicle known as leadership PACs to the list of campaign funds that cannot be spent for “personal use.” In the past five years, according to a report released in July by the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center, lawmakers have spent $871,000 on golf clubs, $741,000 at St. Regis hotels around the country, and, $252,000 at Charlie Palmer Steak in D.C. 

“Past inaction by the FEC has allowed lawmakers from both parties to use leadership PAC funds for country club dues and Disneyland vacations, and it is about time that the agency does something about it,” Brendan Fischer, program director of the Campaign Legal Center, tells Sludge. “This rulemaking petition presents an opportunity for the FEC to use its authority to prevent lawmakers from using leadership PACs as slush funds.”

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