Golf courses, Dallas Cowboys: Report questions how Congress spends campaign money

McClatchy DC Bureau

Sen. Johnny Isakson used political contributions for nearly $60,000 worth of events at an Oregon golf club. Rep. Pete Sessions paid football’s Dallas Cowboys nearly $27,000 for a political event. And Sen. Rand Paul spent more than $4,000 in political contributions when he visited London.

Watchdog groups and five former members of Congress will cite those cases and similar spending Friday as the Federal Election Commission closes a 60-day public comment period. The FEC is reviewing whether to tighten the rules for leadership PACs that critics say some lawmakers use for personal perks.

Since its initial report, the spending has continued, said Brendan Fischer, director of the federal reform program at the Campaign Legal Center. “This speaks to the importance of the FEC clarifying the rule,” Fischer said. “In the absence of guidance from the FEC, lawmakers feel they have the freedom to use leadership PACs as slush funds.”

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