Kyrsten Sinema Accused of Using Campaign Cash to Bankroll Personal Expenses

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema reportedly used tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for her expenses while traveling the country to participate in marathons and triathlons, has learned.

In a surprising development to come months after Sinema abruptly left the Democratic Party in December 2022, the now-independent senator has been accused of using campaign funds to pay her travel expenses and other amenities on at least six separate occasions between 2019 and 2022.

Even more surprising are the claims that the 46-year-old Arizona senator also held campaign fundraisers during those trips in an apparent effort to legitimize her campaign money spending.

That is the sudden revelation shared by Daily Beast on Sunday in a newly published report exposing Sinema’s campaign money spending over the past four years.

According to the outlet, Sinema’s campaign spent $1,500 on “meeting meals” and “event supplies” in April 2022 while the senator was in Massachusetts to participate in last year’s Boston Marathon.

Sinema’s campaign also reportedly spent an additional $8,740 in “lodging expenses” at an “unspecified Ritz-Carlton Hotel” that same month.

Meanwhile, the independent senator reportedly collected more than $16,000 in campaign contributions while in Boston for the marathon – suggesting that Sinema held some sort of campaign fundraiser while in Massachusetts that month.

Daily Beast further alleged that Sinema used campaign funds to bankroll several other trips she took to participate in marathons and triathlons in recent years, including the Mountains2Beach Marathon in Ventura County, California, in May 2019, the Light at The End of the Tunnel Marathon outside Seattle, Washington, in June 2021, and another Boston Marathon in October 2021.

But while Sinema allegedly spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds to pay for catering, lodging, and transportation expenses during those trips, she also reportedly collected an average of $20,000 in campaign contributions during each trip.

According to campaign finance experts who spoke with Daily Beast, Sinema did not break any Federal Election Commission rules by using campaign funds due to the fact she held campaign fundraisers during the trips – but at least one expert acknowledged Sinema is “pushing the gray area” of the FEC’s rules by “appearing to tie legitimate campaign activity to unrelated personal pursuits.”

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“Tacking some personal activities on to a fundraising trip is generally going to be fine,” Brendan Fischer, the deputy executive director of the watchdog group Documented, told the outlet. “But this appears to be the inverse—tacking fundraisers on to personal trips to justify the use of campaign funds to cover the costs.”

“The FEC generally isn’t going to scrutinize this kind of spending,” he explained. “But at the same time, I doubt any FEC commissioners would declare that a candidate may travel anywhere they want using donor funds, as long as they ask another donor for more money while there.”

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