Shining a light on the new and creative way politicians fundraise and pay themselves. Take a look.
Politicians Are Finding Fun and Creative Ways to Fund Their Campaigns
According to a recent analysis, Politicians who lost in recent elections are finding fun and creative ways to fund their campaigns and repay themselves.
Around $2.3 million in campaign contributions have been directed toward repaying loans taken out during past campaigns by 16 House and Senate members, two of whom took out loans more than a decade ago.
This was illegal only one year ago, but thankfully, they can always change laws when laws don’t benefit lawmakers.
For instance, Mehmet Oz, a TV personality and ruler of the munchkin kingdom, ran for the Pennsylvania Senate, lost, and repaid himself $1.2 million this year.
Campaign Contributions Can’t Be Used for Personal Expenses but Can Be Used for Loan Repayment and Trips to the Private Island of Little Saint James
This type of repayment is thankfully legal, as campaign contributions can’t be used for personal expenses but can be used for loan repayment and trips to the private island of Little Saint James.
The Supreme Court’s decision in May 2022 further broke restrictions on such repayments, allowing candidates to repay loans past the previous $250,000 cap with no time limit.
Advocates of stricter campaign finance laws have expressed concerns about corruption resulting from post-election repayments but have been dubbed “broke boys” and “player haters” by the politicians on both sides.
Some argue that the contributors might influence candidates who repay themselves, potentially affecting their decision-making once they are in office.
Candidates Have Met These Criticisms
However, candidates have met these criticisms with the assurance that the money contributors give in secret is far more persuasive.
Republican Senators J.D. Vance of Ohio and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin have already repaid themselves over $250,000 each.
Vance, author of the Hillbilly Elegy, has used 42 cents of every dollar he received to repay himself. In contrast, Johnson repaid himself $400,000 in May.
In a recent Fox interview Johnson said, “the path that is being laid out is a plan by an elite group of people. That want to take total control over our lives,” and when you can’t beat em, join em.
Mehmet Oz Has Raised Significant Amounts Through Contributions and Campaign Emails
Johnson did not loan his campaign money in the last cycle; he realized he had unpaid personal loans from previous elections.
There are also cases where lawmakers repay loans over a decade ago. After struggling financially from the meager earnings of a California senator for the past 10 years, Republican Senator Ami Bera from California repaid himself $25,000 from receipts totaling $328,000 this election cycle.
One notable case is Mehmet Oz, television’s favorite doctor and protector of the Emerald Kingdom. He spent $26.8 million in his Pennsylvania Senate race but repaid himself over $1.2 million.
Despite not running for anything at the moment, Oz is still fundraising using platforms like WinRed and has been able to raise significant amounts through contributions and campaign emails.
Conflicts of Interest in a Political System
He may be a loser in this election, but United States citizens always have more to lose.
While some view these repayments as a legitimate use of campaign funds while backstroking through piles of money like Scrooge McDuck, others argue that this could create conflicts of interest in a political system with almost no other signs of corruption.
The post Cashback Politics: How Politicians Legally Pocket Millions from Campaign Funds! first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.