The Democrat Campaign Committee Chair New York Representative Patrick Maloney said one thing and did another.
Maloney urged constituents to stay home but then spend thousands of dollars traveling the state.
According to The Washington Free Beacon:
Maloney—who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee—halted his campaign’s in-person signature-collecting push in March 2020. Days later, he urged constituents to “stay home” and “stop spreading this virus.” Over the next nine months, however, he spent nearly $29,000 on “ground transportation” and “automobile expenses,” financial disclosures show. The disbursements included nearly $20,000 in lease and insurance payments, more than $3,600 in collision repairs, nearly $2,200 in gas, more than $2,100 in rental car fees, and nearly $500 for a satellite radio subscription.
Maloney’s expenses were unusual in his region. Rep. Antonio Delgado (D., N.Y.), for example, did not disclose any car-related expenses in 2020. Delgado’s 19th Congressional District is nearly six times the size of Maloney’s neighboring 18th district. Like Maloney, Delgado pivoted to virtual events during the pandemic. Under U.S. campaign finance law, candidates cannot use donor funds to pay for personal travel.
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“Without having any in-person campaigning, you wouldn’t expect there to be a lot of expenses,” Arnold said. “Candidates don’t have to link [disbursements] to a specific corresponding event, so of course anything could be made up. We generally look for spending that isn’t in the realm of a candidate in the same state or in a similar-sized district.”
Watchdog groups have criticized Republicans for similar spending patterns. Accountable.US called for an investigation into Rep. Lauren Boebert (R., Colo.) in February over campaign mileage expenses. Like Maloney, Boebert claimed campaign mileage on dates for which she did not list any public events. And while Boebert outspent Maloney on gas, she did not use campaign funds to pay for car leases, rentals, repairs, insurance, and satellite radio.
Maloney has sued and been subject to Federal Election Commission complaints for sketchy behavior in the past.