Recently retired House members are spending leftover campaign funds on items ranging from football tickets to parking fines, an Associated Press survey shows, and they also are giving generously to charities and political candidates.
Former Rep. Guy Vander Jagt (R-Mich.) reported spending $1,483 on Washington Redskins tickets for constituents.
The former lawmakers--most out of office less than three months--are still sitting on $11.8 million in leftover funds. Accounts with large surpluses are accruing thousands of dollars in interest while the former lawmakers decide how to spend the money.
The AP checked the federal campaign reports of 111 House members who left Capitol Hill during and after the just-completed 102nd Congress. Some returned funds to contributors, while others put money into typical campaign expenses such as advertising, postage and consultant fees.
Among the other expenses:
-- Former Rep. Charles Bennett (D-Fla.) donated $270,835 to the National Park Service.
-- Former Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.) paid $250 in parking tickets, had legal bills of $197,000, handed back $72,370 in contribution refunds and gave $3,000 to other candidates.
-- Former Rep. Claude Harris (D-Ala.) spent $30 to take handicapped children to see "Disney on Ice."
Such expenditures are permitted under Federal Election Commission rules.