Campaign fund or slush fund?

Campaign of departing Dem Wexler spent $346,998 in fourth quarter

by George Bennett | February 1st, 2010


Wexler: still has $637,967 in his campaign account Wexler: still has $637,967 in his campaign account 

Democrat Robert Wexler announced in October that he was leaving Congress. But his congressional campaign committee still spent $346,998 during the fourth quarter of 2009, a new report shows.The Wexler campaign paid more than $120,000 in “end-of-career bonuses” to Wexler congressional staffers who doubled as campaign workers and spent more than $87,000 on mailings. Wexler sent a 150,000-piece thank-you mailing to voters in Palm Beach-Broward congressional District 19 who elected the self-described “fire-breathing liberal” seven times.

Wexler left office Jan. 3 to head the nonprofit Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation.

According to a Federal Election Commission report filed Sunday, the Wexler campaign paid $39,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to Eric Johnson, who was Wexler’s chief of staff and political consultant throughout his seven terms. Another $33,500 went to Daniela Acosta and $22,000 to Wendi Lipsich, a pair of aides who worked in Wexler’s South Florida congressional office and also did campaign work.

“Most of the people who received a bonus from Robert had worked for him 14 years,” Johnson said.

Wexler’s campaign also gave $6,000 to the congressional campaign of Democrat Ted Deutch, who Wexler has endorsed to succeed him.

Deutch and Ben Graber are running in a special Democratic primary Tuesday. Three Republicans are running in a GOP primary Tuesday. The primary winners and no-party candidate Jim McCormick will compete in an April 13 special election to replace Wexler.

Even after the fourth-quarter spending spree, Wexler’s campaign committee has $637,967 left over in case Wexler ever decides to attempt a political comeback.


4 Responses to “Campaign fund or slush fund?”
  1. EdFulop EdFulop says:

    Bonuses, with campaign contributions — anyone see anything wrong with that, or is it just me?

    • merylee merylee says:

      Interesting thought Ed. Do you know what happens to those campaign dollars that a candidate receives if he loses or, like Wexler, leaves office? Suppose a Congressman leaves with a few hundred thousand dollars in their coffers….what happens to that money?

      Did we ever follow a money trail of any of these guys to see whatever happened to the balance of dollars left?



      • Austin Parris Parris85 says:

        According to a handbook we get from the Division of Elections, often times those campaign contributions can in some cases be refunded and/or donated to certain charities I believe. I’ll check.

  2. EdFulop EdFulop says:

    Check Ted Deutch’s FEC report — he’s got donations from Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer’s campaign accounts! People donated to them in their home districts in California and Maryland, and they see fit to send their constituent’s hard won dollars to fund races thousands of miles outside of their districts. Just $2K from each though, and when you consider he’s raised over $1 million, I think it’s a hard case to make if you try to say they just wanted to help a floundering campaign of a compatriot from their party. These people need to be brought in check . . . . . and soon.

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