Local politicians are supposed to spend money from their campaign funds on campaigning – or so the thinking goes. But a recent investigation by the Better Government Association and Chicago magazine shows that isn’t always the case.
BGA and Chicago magazine analyzed campaign disclosure records from Jan. 1, 2007, through Sept. 30, 2012, for thousands of political campaign committees in Illinois, including state senators and representatives, suburban mayors, Cook County commissioners, and other major city, county and state elected officials, among others.
Under state and federal law, elected officeholders and political candidates can spend campaign money only on things with a campaign- or government-related purpose. But some politicians get around the rule by stretching the definition of "campaign-related" to include, well, just about anything – including spa services, cigars and a People magazine subscription.
The BGA and Chicago magazine also found numerous examples of politicians paying for luxury cars, overseas trips and meals at top-flight restaurants across the city.
See what they found HERE