Former Congressman Cliff Stearns using campaign cash in questionable ways

Five years after leaving office<br>
Former U.S. Rep. Cliff Stears, R-Ocala (CQ)
Former U.S. Rep. Cliff Stears, R-Ocala (CQ)
Published Oct. 12, 2017

From Politico’s Matt Dixon:

Former Rep. Cliff Stearns’ congressional campaign committee has evolved into an investment account that he uses to fund a host of personal expenses that may raise legal questions, according to campaign finance experts.

Since losing his seat in 2012, the 12-term congressman has kept his campaign committee open and used it to make investments that have netted nearly $300,000. That money has stayed in the committee, which still has $1.5 million cash on hand.

The committee has funded contributions to other members, a monthly cellphone bill, trips to the annual conservative conference Awakening, membership dues at the Capitol Hill Club and payments to his wife, Joan, among other expenditures.

“That to me seems flat out illegal,” said Adav Noti, a former attorney with the Federal Election Commission, in reference to the Capitol Hill Club membership expense. “I’m racking my brain to think of a legal use here.”

Full story here.

Related: Longtime Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns undone by his own party, horse doctor Ted Yoho