Despite the fact that he confessed to accepting bribes and now sits in jail on charges of corruption, ex-State Senator Carl Kruger‘s campaign committee has over $417,000, according to the New York Post.
And, apparently, the campaign is keeping the reserves for the pol’s potential payday when he gets out of the big house.
The Post said that the committee, “Friends of Carl,” continued to exist after Kruger left the Senate in December of 2011, and even after he was placed in jail last month. They have not collected money in the past six months, yet they have been paying their bills and even kept some money aside for Kruger after he finishes serving his seven-year sentence.
In addition, Kruger is receiving a taxpayer-funded pension of $65,000 a year.
State election law says that political campaigns can use “contributions received by a candidate or a political committee may be expended for any lawful purpose,” said the New York Post.
However, the law continues and says that the money cannot be used for personal use unconnected to the political campaign. Yet law experts said that almost all expenses can be connected to politics, and therefore, officials can do whatever they’d like with the money.
Here’s how Capital Confidential, which first reported on the leftover warchest, puts it:
Recall: under New York’s current campaign finance laws, YOU CAN DO BASICALLY WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT WITH CAMPAIGN MONEY. Like buy a car. Or have your widow continue to spend it five years after you die. Legal legal legal. S’all good. This is, in my opinion, one of those things that makes the Empire State great.
Sen. Liz Krueger has proposed a bill to eventually let campaign committees die. It may shock you to learn that it hasn’t advanced at all.