A nonprofit promoting government ethics and transparency is throwing a dirty diaper at Rep. Eric Swalwell for questionable day care expenditures.
Federal Election Commission disbursement records reveal Rep. Swalwell’s 2022 campaign reported multiple expenditures for child care after the November 8 election. The California Democrat spent about $17,000 for child care after the election, according to the FEC database.
Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust executive director Kendra Arnold acknowledge candidates may use campaign funds to pay for child care while on the trail. Billing the campaign for child care after an election, though, raises ethical questions she said.
“It would be a violation if he used campaign funds to pay for child care after the election if they were not directly caused by campaign activity,” said Arnold. Her group is preparing to file a complaint with the FEC regarding Swalwell’s child care expenses after November 8, according to a Washington Free Beacon report.
The report questioned the propriety of a $7,841 one-time post-election payment to Swalwell’s regular California nanny. The report noted that the Indeed job search website listed average California nanny pay at $24.37 per hour. If Swalwell paid her the average rate, that would equal more than 13 days of baby-sitting after the campaign ended.
It’s not like this is Swalwell’s first rodeo, though. The congressman was blasted in 2021 after he paid a family member more than $17,000 for child care. He reportedly also spend greater than $20,000 at an exclusive California hotel that employed his wife.
The congressman was also castigated for living large on donor money reportedly spent for catering and refreshments at swanky clubs and restaurants.
Swalwell paid a family member more than $17,000 for child care, spent $20,000 at the Bay Area Ritz-Carlton where his wife used to work, and poured tens of thousands of dollars into non-campaign-related “catering” and “refreshments” at “exclusive clubs and restaurants.”
“Shocker!” exclaimed Swalwell in a December 2, 2021, Twitter post. “A group whose goal is ‘getting up every AM w/ goal of making it as difficult as possible for the Biden Admin & their allies on the Hill…’is after me.”
FEC guidelines permit lawmakers to pay child care with donor funds while on the campaign trail, provided their spouse is unavailable to watch them. The commission opined in a July 25 Advisory Opinion that Swalwell could use campaign funds for child care expenses related to his own electioneering, “because the expenses would not exist irrespective of congressman Swalwell’s campaign.”
The commissioners did not approve Swalwell’s requests to use donor funds for child care during travel for other Democratic campaigns or overseas trips at the invitation of foreign governments.
The Democrat and his wife accepted an invitation for a $20,000 jaunt to Qatar in 2020, bankrolled by the U.S.-Qatar Business Council. The congressman was photographed riding a camel barechested through a desert, a la Vladimir Putin.
The Swalwells further accepted an all-expenses-paid trip to Germany that featured them staying in a $611-per-night hotel.
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