A New Jersey Rep. spent $9000 in campaign funds to take his family to a donor’s wedding in Scotland, the Star-Ledger reports.
According to a review of campaign finance records by Matt Friedman of the Ledger, Rep. Rob Andrews (D) used $7,725 of campaign funds to stay in a five-star hotel in Edinburgh for three nights in June with his family. He also spent $463 on a china set from Bloomingdale’s as a gift for the couple, and another $953 on miscellaneous expenses from the trip, like cab rides and meals.
The trip was part of a longer trip to Europe for Andrews, his wife and two teenage daughters, and the stop in Edinburgh was the only part paid for by the campaign. Andrews defended the expenses because it was for a donor and volunteer adviser, which means that he can call it a political event.
“We have legal advice, and before we make any expenditure like that we listen to legal advice,” he told the Ledger. “We’re convinced this is an appropriate expenditure to thank and support someone who has given us a lot of time and effort.”
But, from the Ledger, Andrews has used campaign funds for other iffy expenditures:
Also in June, Andrews’ campaign spent more than $10,000 on a party at his Haddon Heights home to celebrate his 20 years in Congress and his daughter’s high school graduation. And his campaign has made tens of thousands of dollars in donations to Philadelphia theaters — sometimes within months of another daughter appearing in one of their productions.
In 2009, CREW also filed an FEC complaint against Andrews for using $1,000 in campaign funds to buy clothing after an airline lost his luggage. He wound up reimbursing the campaign.