(Chris Parker, Headline USA) Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., wants to use campaign donations to cover babysitting expenses while he travels, in the latest example of Democrats trying to carve out rules for themselves that don’t apply to others.
An attorney working for his legal team is requesting the Federal Election Commission to expand on a law that allows campaign funds to be used for childcare during campaign events, reported the Washington Free Beacon. If the request is approved, Swalwell will also be able to use campaign funds to cover childcare while he’s accepting invitations to travel overseas.
“Because of his status as a well-known member of Congress, he gets many invitations, including invitations from foreign governments for information visits, that may require him and his spouse to be away for multiple days,” said the letter filed with the FEC.
The letter also stated the commission previously “determined that childcare expenses that were a direct result of campaign activity would not exist irrespective of the campaign, so they could be paid for with campaign funds.” However, Swalwell’s overseas trips are not limited to his campaign activities.
Swalwell drew attention to his lavish travels overseas when a photo of him excitedly riding a camel while shirtless went viral. His attorney’s letter to the FEC details that and similar trips as part of his work as a politician. The expenses for those trips are typically covered by the inviting party.
This isn’t the first time that Swalwell has drawn attention for his use of campaign funds. The American Accountability Foundation filed a complaint in 2021 after he used donations to spend over $20,000 on luxury hotels. He also used campaign funds to purchase alcohol and ride in limousines.
The FEC forbids candidates from converting campaign foods to personal use. “Personal use” is defined as “the use of campaign funds to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign.”
Typically, childcare is covered if its expense is “the direct result of campaign activity.” However, many of Swalwell’s trips are not used to promote his campaign or even related to its activities. He, like many politicians, is frequently invited to travel overseas regardless of whether it’s campaign season.