Cassidy accused of misusing campaign funds for elite social club memberships

Louisiana

WASHINGTON (KLFY) — Sen. Bill Cassidy’s campaign is accused of spending funds illegally for private social club membership dues in New York and Morgan City, according to disclosures with the Federal Election Commission.

The funds in question total around $5,500 since 2014 from for membership dues to New York City’s elite Penn Club. Another $650 was used at the Petroleum Club of Morgan City.

A report from Roll Call.com brought the situation to light. They quoted Cassidy campaign spokesman Ty Bofferding from an emailed statement: “The Senator uses the Penn Club for campaign events and we believe everything was done appropriately.” It is unclear what kind of campaign events the senator would be hosting in New York City, however.

Democrats attacked Cassidy over the news.

“No doubt Senator Cassidy is pleading with donors to send him $10 to help his campaign,” said Executive Director of the Louisiana Democratic Party Stephen Handwerk. “Meanwhile, he is using those donations to fund his extravagant lifestyle of private guest rooms, members-only dining and spa services.  I think donors will have a huge problem with this. Turns out, so does the Federal Elections Commission – it’s illegal.”

The FEC does allow membership dues payments for social clubs if the payments are made in connection with a specific fundraising event that takes place on the organization’s premises.

Campaign funds may not be used to pay for dues to country clubs, health clubs, recreational facilities or other nonpolitical organizations unless the payments are made in connection with a specific fundraising event that takes place on the organization’s premises. Campaign funds may be used for membership dues in an organization that may have political interests.

“Personal Use,” http://fec.gov

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