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Ben Nighthorse Campbell retired from the U.S. Senate more than four years ago. And yet the Republican’s campaign account lives on, reports Politico. Campbell, who is now with the powerful Holland & Knight lobbying firm, is spending it quite nicely.
For instance, he’s paid $93,500 to his daughter-in-law Karen Campbell for her work as his bookkeeper. He’s used hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay legal bills. He used the fund to contribute thousands of dollars to John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Senator Sam Brownback, and Representative Doug Lamborn. And, according to his latest filings, Campbell still has $223,025 to burn.
Critics claim that the accounts held by former lawmakers who become lobbyists beg ethical questions about peddling influence, although a spokeswoman for Campbell says he complies with federal laws.
Campbell’s not the only one benefiting. Senator Don Riegle, Democrat of Michigan, left office in 1995, but still has more than $107,000 in the account that he used to donate to a “slew” of politicians, including Senator Mark Udall. As a Baltimore Sun blog notes, these are the kind of accounts that got people asking questions about embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele.