Even so, the expenditures were apparently disclosed as "campaign accessories," which is a mighty broad category. It seems to me practically inevitable that somebody is going to challenge the use of political contributions to purchase bracelet sleeve jackets and knee-high leather boots for the candidate's personal use.
Which is why GOP lawyers are already preparing their defense:
"There is absolutely nothing wrong with the expenditure, as long as it is 100% focused on the campaign," former Reagan administration attorney James V. Lacy said. "If they need to spend that money in order to keep her clean, clothed and focused because she is on the road 24/7, then that's an appropriate expenditure."Clothes, you see, also have ineffable properties apart from the mundane. I wouldn't necessarily dispute that suggestion but it stands a good chance of getting lost in the translation to legal argument.
Nevertheless, suggests another lawyer, the receipt of funds from the Party coffers by the campaign might itself be considered a campaign contribution, in which case the purchase of personal items with the said funds would be verboten.
"And if it was a contribution, then it could not have been used for buying clothing," said Lawrence F. Noble, former general counsel to the Federal Elections Commission. And "if it is covered [as a personal-use expense], the argument that we were going to give it to a charity doesn't help."And Senator John McCain, who has famously taken up a number of questions related to campaign finances, had this to say in 1993:
The use of campaign funds for items which most Americans would consider to be strictly personal reasons, in my view, erodes public confidence and erodes it significantly.Depends on what your definition of knee-high leather boots is.