The chairman of the congressional campaign of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) is asking the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to authorize the use of $2,200 in campaign funds to pay for security improvements to the family home where she’s recovering from her injuries.
Security updates recommended by Capitol Police include improving the home’s exterior lighting and locks and the installation of a duress alarm button.
“Since the attack on Rep. Giffords occurred at a congressional activity, I am inquiring whether the costs of these safety measures may be covered by Rep. Giffords’ campaign funds,” Giffords for Congress Chairman Michael McNulty wrote in an Aug. 17 letter to the FEC.
The FEC ruled back in April that Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) could used up to $5,000 in campaign funds on security improvements to his home.
Meanwhile, a federal judge has scheduled a hearing for next Friday on the government’s ongoing forced medication of alleged Giffords shooter Jared Lee Loughner. His defense team would also like the judge to reconsider his denial of their motion to have Loughner’s interrogations videotaped.
As part of their defense strategy, Loughner’s lawyers have been delving into the backgrounds of family members on his mother’s side in an apparent effort to show that mental illness runs in the family, the New York Times reported this week.
According to the government, Loughner has thrown chairs and has been awake for as many as 50 hours at a time. He’s been on suicide watch and paced in his cell so much that his legs have swelled.
Giffords made a high-profile return to the House of Representatives to vote on the debt ceiling deal earlier this month.