Senator Harry Reid wants the Federal Election Commission to create an exemption allowing him to spend $600,000 in unspent campaign and PAC funds on personal matters as he retires from office. The FEC deferred action on the request.
Reid also wants to hire a full-time assistant to help in this effort. Part of the assistant’s duties would be to “schedule and organize appearances in which Senator Reid will discuss his tenure in office…”
Democrat commissioner Ann Ravel defended the request during the open meeting, stating the use of the funds in such a way would be the “appropriate mechanism for a person who will continue to be doing a public service as a historic figure in our country, to achieve purposes that are important to the American public.”
Reid has been in trouble with the commission over the personal use of campaign funds in the past. In 2006, Reid used campaign funds to pay $3,300 in bonuses to the doorman and other support workers at his residence at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.
In March 2014 he agreed to reimburse $16,787 his campaign gave to his granddaughter Ryan Elisabeth Reid in 2013 for what was described as payments for “holiday gifts.” At the time, the federal disclosures showed the campaign paid another $14,481 to Reid’s granddaughter in 2012, bringing to $31,268 the total paid to her in 2012 and 2013 to purchase gifts for Reid’s support staff.