Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin used taxpayer dollars to fund personal trips, ethics complaint alleges

A government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics against Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Wednesday, alleging “misappropriation of taxpayer dollars” for trips the senator made from Wisconsin to New York.  According to the complaint filed by the Americans for Public Trust, Baldwin allegedly reimbursed the federal government $630 for a trip she took from Madison to New York City Nov. 5-9, 2020, to visit her partner, private wealth adviser Maria Brisbane. But the reimbursment came “only after facing media inquiries” last month from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Baldwin staffers told the outlet the trip was mistakenly “mislabeled” as official travel. “Federal law and the Select Committee on Ethics make it clear that the expenditure of public funds must occur only for appropriated purposes,” the complaint states. “Here, public reporting indicates that Senator Baldwin has run afoul of these prohibitions by expending taxpayer dollars for exclusively personal travel to New York — a geographic location well outside of Wisconsin, and far from the constituency that she represents.” SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN REPAYS TAXPAYER-FUNDED NOVEMBER 2020 NYC TRIP TO SEE PARTNER The complaint, signed by Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland, argues Baldwin’s repayment for one trip does not explain several other trips the senator took since 2018 to the Big Apple using taxpayer dollars. “It remains unknown if these trips were also made for personal reasons, and as such, also require investigation,” the complaint states. DEM SENATOR TO FUNDRAISE WITH SUPPORTER OF SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE, CRITICAL RACE THEORY The watchdog group is calling for the ethics committee to conduct “a comprehensive audit of her schedule, travel, events, per diem, and any other costs outflowing from her Senate office” relevant to a potential investigation. Sutherland told Fox News Digital in a statement Wednesday that Baldwin “needs to produce detailed records for all her New York trips to determine if she mixed more official business travel with any other personal or campaign travel.” “If she has nothing to hide, [she] should have no problem justifying these trips and explaining to her constituents why they’re on the hook for her excessive travel outside of Wisconsin,” Sutherland said.  Baldwin’s office said the senator reimbursed the federal government “out of an abundance of caution” without being asked, the Journal-Sentinel reported last month. “Tammy Baldwin goes above and beyond to ensure her office is in compliance with ethics policies, including as it relates to her travel,” Baldwin spokesperson Andrew Mamo told the outlet. During at least eight of Baldwin’s trips since 2018, Baldwin submitted expense claims to taxpayers while traveling for official purposes, covering certain personal expenses with her own funds or frequent-flyer points, according to the New York Post.  DEMOCRATIC US SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN ANNOUNCES BID FOR THIRD TERM IN BATTLEGROUND WISCONSIN According to the Journal Sentinel, Baldwin incurred expenses of $3,631 for nine flights between Wisconsin or Washington, D.C., and New York City since that time. The government permits senators to seek reimbursement for official business trips or for returning to Washington, D.C., after personal trips. “Sen. Baldwin’s office has already brought these nine trips to the attention of the Senate Ethics Committee, and they determined no further action was required,” a spokesperson for Baldwin told Fox News Digital Wednesday.  Baldwin is seeking a third term in the upcoming election with several potential Republican challengers, including businessman Scott Mayor, banking and asset manager Eric Hovde and David Clarke, the former Milwaukee County sheriff.
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