While taxpayers in general may have been relieved to find out that they were not on the hook for Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s (D-Fla.) recent trip to The Grammys, donors to Wasserman-Schultz’s campaign may have more questions than answers.
Wasserman-Schultz, who has been the Chair of the Democratic National Committee during the last two unsuccessful election cycles and has been criticized on multiple occasions for inappropriate behavior and expense scandals, was dutifully serving the citizens of Florida’s 23rd Congressional District Feb. 8, while rubbing elbows with the glitzy and glamorous at the 2015 Grammy Awards. According to a statement from her communications director Sean Bartlett, Wasserman-Schultz was on a “research trip” for the “pressing issues before the music industry”.
Unlike Jackson Lee, who said that she paid for the trip with her own funds, Wasserman-Schultz has stated that the funds for the trip came from campaign contributions, which must be exactly what her supporters intended for her to do with their political donations. It turns out the trip to The Grammys was so important and vital that Wasserman-Schultz, who is known to aggressively tweet, never mentioned the trip which only came to light when pictures of Wasserman-Schultz on the Red Carpet caused a firestorm on Twitter.
Wasserman-Schultz has on three occasions attempted to bill the Democratic National Committee for wardrobe upgrades, but when questioned about this back in September 2014 by Politico Wasserman-Schultz stated, “I think that would be a totally inappropriate use of DNC funds.”
Tracie Pough, Wasserman Schultz’s chief of staff at the DNC and her congressional office, was also involved in making inquiries about buying the clothing, according to sources. Pough denies making, directing or being aware of any inquiries.
But sources with knowledge of the discussions say Wasserman Schultz’s efforts couldn’t have been clearer. “She felt firmly that it should happen,” said a then-DNC staffer of the clothing request. “Even after it was explained that it couldn’t, she remained indignant.”
It would be interesting to find out from residents of Florida’s 23rd Congressional District and Wasserman-Schultz campaign donors how appropriate the use of campaign contributions for a research trip to The Grammys to investigate the pressing issues before the music industry were.
Wasserman-Schultz fashions herself as a crusader “to prioritize middle class families to address the problem of income inequality in America”, which obviously must be addressed from an expensive and exclusive event all the way across the country from her home or office.
Meanwhile, Wasserman-Schultz’s office has released the trial balloon that she may be considering a run for the US Senate which would certainly afford her many new opportunities to fleece constituents, donors, and the US Taxpayer to continue living a life of luxury and extravagance.
[The Daily Mail] [Newbusters] [Politico] [BizPac Review] [Washington Times]