Apr 11, 2009

Hey, big spender

A Los Angeles Times search of public records found that, in the last six years, state Sen. Gil Cedillo spent $125,000 out of his campaign funds for fancy hotels, expensive meals and extravagant shopping sprees. Cedillo is running for the congressional seat recently vacated by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

From the LAT:
Cedillo's expenses include $7,022 at Nordstrom; $3,483 at Banana Republic; $1,418 at Ann Taylor; $498 at Bloomingdale's; $450 at Crate & Barrel; and $375 at Macy's.


All told, Cedillo has spent about $77,000 on restaurants, $29,000 on hotels and $21,000 on airline tickets over six years in the Senate. (That does not include tens of thousands of dollars spent on fundraising events at restaurants, hotels or banquet halls.)

The restaurant charges that Cedillo reported as meetings, office or travel expenses include $424 at Ristorante Buca Mario in Florence; $298 at Ristorante San Francesco in Assisi, Italy; $501 at Emporio da Gula in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil; and in Los Angeles, $964 at Cicada; $559 at La Serenata de Garibaldi; $229 at Blair's; and $1,373 at the Palm.
Cedillo told the Times that all of the items he bought were gifts for others and called his many overseas excursions "relevant to the extent that they enrich my capacity as a legislator." Good government advocated Bob Stern said "it sounds like he is using campaign funds to supplement his lifestyle."

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