California Rep. Eric Swalwell spent more campaign money on travel and luxury accommodations than Rep. Nancy Pelosi during the last two years, according to a Fox News review of Federal Election Commission records.
Swalwell’s campaign spent nearly $583,000 on travel expenses during the 2022 elections. By contrast, Pelosi finished the cycle with $434,000 in reported travel expenses, according to a review of her records.
Swalwell consistently used donor funds on limousines, flights, yachts, and lavish hotels, including international ones.
This spending came as Americans in both his district and around the country faced rising inflation that drove basic costs of living through the roof.
One of his largest travel expenses was $20,240 to the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, where his wife was the sales director until 2019.
Swalwell’s committee also went through thousands of dollars in Paris, France, including $1,800 in early May of 2022 at the five-star Hotel La Maison Champs-Elysees. Nightly rooms run from around $1,000 to $1,200 per night there.
“The Maison Champs-Elysées in the heart of Paris’ ‘Golden Triangle’ is an elegant marriage of contemporary lines and unobtrusive luxury, this very special non-conformist hotel teases our expectations, with theatrical elements, a subtle, relaxed atmosphere, and attentive staff,” the hotel’s website states.
A few weeks later, the campaign reported spending hundreds of dollars at Le Cafe Marly, which is located in the “heart of the Tuileries” and just under the “arcades of the Louvre”, the website says.
Fox News reported:
And around that same time, the campaign expended $3,538.94 at France’s “iconic” Ritz Paris, a posh hotel with several upscale bars and reservation rooms.
Swalwell’s committee, which went through much of the 2022 election cycle with just two paid staffers, added thousands more at luxury hotels in other prime vacation spots, including $4,708 at Loews Miami Beach, where rooms cost customers between $400 for city room views and $3,700 for the presidential suite, according to its website.
And in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel accommodations, the campaign also doled out considerable cash on yachts and childcare services.
MAGA Pen 2024!
Are you ready to SUPPORT our President and prove, once again, that WE can Make America Great Again?
Owning the MAGA Pen 2024 will make you a true patriot. 2024 is near, get ready to give your vote with the victory Pen, the Pen that will write down the History one more time and Make America Great Again.
Swalwell’s committee spent $28,646 at Just Dreaming Yacht Charters, a San Francisco agency that offers “relaxing and luxurious” private yachts for up to 40 passengers.
It has also been reported that Swalwell’s post-election babysitting payments may have violated campaign finance rules.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Swalwell paid about $17,000 to babysitters from November 14, 2022, to the end of the year.
One post-election payment to the Swalwells’ regular California nanny ran $7,841. A Washington Free Beacon review of average California nanny rates concluded that this payment would have purchased 320 hours or 13 days of child care. While candidates are allowed to use campaign funds to pay for child care while on the trail, doing so after an election raises ethical questions, according to Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust executive director Kendra Arnold.
“It would be a violation if he used campaign funds to pay for child care after the election if they were not directly caused by campaign activity,” said Arnold, whose group is preparing an FEC complaint over Swalwell’s spending.
The FEC allows lawmakers to use donor funds for child care while they are on the campaign trail, given that each lawmaker’s spouse is not available to take their kids.
After the election, his babysitting costs continued even though he was done with the campaign.
The Washington Free Beacon also shared that Swalwell has yet to pay down $50,001 to $100,000 in law school loans, though he graduated in 2006 and has made a six-figure salary for many years now.