Kerry Expenses Red Sox and Parking Tickets to Campaign
Kerry’s expenses: That’s the tickets (Boston Herald)
Sen. John F. Kerry tapped campaign funds for Red Sox tickets and to pay nearly $300 in overdue Boston parking tickets in March, records show. Kerry’s Senate campaign committee wrote a $287 check to the City of Boston Parking Clerk on March 31, 2005. The Bay State senator listed “travel expense” as the purpose for the expenditure.
Kerry leased a car for campaign-related travel in Massachusetts that was cited for about a half-dozen parking tickets in Boston. Most of the tickets were issued in October and November 2003 and not paid until more than 15 months later in March 2005 after accruing penalty fees. “They were leftover tickets we only found out about when we closed out the lease,” Kerry spokeswoman Jenny Backus said. “The car was used for the Senate campaign by staffers and volunteers.”
Kerry, meanwhile, used presidential campaign funds for a $3,150 tab for Boston Red Sox tickets in July when he threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park before the Democratic National Convention.
A Federal Election Commission spokesman said congressmen are entitled to pay for parking tickets and other expenses from their campaign funds as long as they were “campaign-related.”
Roger Simon jokes that Kerry would make an excellent UN Ambassador and Pejman Yousefzadeh is a bit dubious, as was I when I saw the blurb.
Still, these look like legit campaign expenses to me. A candidate going to throw out the first pitch at a BoSox game is certainly a campaign event, although not one that went particularly well if you’ll recall. And while the parking ticket thing is embarrassing, a campaign has cars at its disposal that staffers are running errands in.
As Pejman alludes to, things get a bit fuzzy when a candidate is also an officeholder. But that’s just the nature of the beast. Candidate-politicians are constantly soliciting contributions for their reelection or bids for higher office.