Dems Worried About Senate Candidate’s Lavish Spending

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris / AP
• December 7, 2015 3:00 pm


National Democrats are growing concerned over the spending habits of one of their top Senate recruits, who is burning through cash thanks in part to lavish spending on hotels, airfare, and political consultants.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has burned through more than 40 percent of the $6 million she’s raised for her Senate run, National Journal reports. The thousands that Harris’ campaign has spent on ritzy hotels, among other expenses, has some Democrats worried.

[H]er high-priced expenses, staff turnover, and anemic fundraising have dimmed her aura of inevitability, and among her former and current allies, there’s already a proliferation of finger-pointing over who, exactly, is to blame.

"Harris’s frivolous spending on airfare, luxury cars, and hotels is highly unusual for a Senate candidate that has a relatively competitive race," said the national Democratic strategist. "And the campaign is in the financial mess that it’s in because of its decision to do those things." […]

The campaign’s splurges aren’t limited to hotels. Since Harris announced she would run for Senate in January, the campaign has spent nearly $20,000 on luxury car services and purchased expensive airfare—with some trips costing nearly $2,500.

In July, per FEC reports, it doled out $3,900 to MVP Luxury Transport, a private car service in Martha’s Vineyard that boasts on its website of letting customers avoid the "headache of crowded taxis, boat reservations, or costly car rentals." It also spent almost $9,000 on cars over the course of 12 payments to Potomac View Transportation, which provides its services in the Washington area.

Harris is running for the Democratic nomination against Rep. Loretta Sanchez. According to FEC reports, Sanchez had spent less than $280,000 of her $1.8 million war chest—at 15 percent, a burn rate far lower than Harris’—by the end of September.

Published under: 2016 Election