More than $14.5 million in campaign contributions has been spent on food by members of the House of Representative and candidates since January 2011, according to news reports.
The dollars have been spent on meals ranging from huge fundraising lunches to meals at country clubs, posh New York hotels and steakhouses in Washington, USA Today reports.
Dollars also were spent by campaign staffers at such chain restaurants as Dunkin’ Donuts, the Olive Garden and Five Guys Burgers and Fries, the newspaper’s analysis shows.
Campaign expenditures have become more scrutinized after former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost the GOP primary race in Virginia in June to college professor Dave Brat. Receipts showed that Cantor spent more on steakhouses — $170,000 — than Brat did on his entire campaign.
“It’s awfully tempting for someone in a position like that to assume without thinking: ‘I’ve got a lot of expenses. I’ve got to use all the resources available to me to make my life what I think it should be,’ ” Bob Biersack, a former Federal Election Commission official, told USA Today.