OCTOBER 15, 2008
Although lawmakers from both political parties regularly use campaign cash to pay family members the practice raises ethical questions, especially when it involves millions of dollars and a vice presidential candidate.
Nearly every senator—Democrat and Republican alike—from the nation’s 50 states has used campaign money to pay family members fees and salaries and among the top five is Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden. A Washington D.C. newspaper reports this week that the veteran Delaware senator has funneled more than $2 million to relatives, their businesses and employers.
Most of the money came from Biden’s failed presidential campaign and a great deal of it went to a company that employs his sister. Some of the cash went to a Washington lobbying and law firm founded by the senator’s son, Hunter Biden. Other Biden campaign dollars paid reimbursement expenses for his sister, wife, brother and children as well as the senator himself.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain also dug into his campaign coffers a few years ago to reimburse his wife for $15,000 in catering expenses that she had evidently covered for an election night party.
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