Swalwell campaign shells out cash on luxury travel in final weeks before primary

The California Democrat's campaign has spent heavily on car services and air fare as price of gas soars

Updated: June 7, 2022 - 3:01pm

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In the final eight weeks of California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell's reelection bid, his campaign paid at least $62,000 for  travel-related expenses including at least one European hotel stay, according to Federal Election Commission records.

The records show that from early April to mid May, the campaign paid for luxury hotel stays in such places as Miami, New Orleans, Paris, San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C.

The hotel stay in Miami in early April alone cost $4,700.

The cost of some airline tickets, each almost $2,000, appear to indicate the congressman was potentially not flying coach during his travels, according to the New York Post.

Per FEC regulations, candidates may not use campaign funds for personal or lifestyle expenses.

The campaign describes the payments as "travel expenses," but it is unclear what campaign-related events Swalwell was traveling to at the time, The Post also reports.

Though it is unclear how some of the stops on the Swalwell travel itinerary correspond with the campaign, it is common for politicians in an election cycle to spend tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, on campaign-related travel. 

"Every cent was spent for a campaign purpose,” Lisa Tucker with Swalwell’s campaign told the newspaper. "The congressman never went to Paris. An aide attended events in Paris as a representative for the campaign." 

The House Democrat, who is one of several high-profile incumbents running in Tuesday's California primaries, is a member of the House Intelligence committee, but perhaps best known for his questionable past connection with a woman now understood to be a Chinese spy.

According to the New York Post's browsing of FEC records, top House spenders this cycle include party leaders Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

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