Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife were recently indicted for improper use of campaign funds. Today’s CNN article, states that “the Hunters allegedly also spent thousands of dollars of campaign funds on routine purchases for personal items at Costco ($11,300), and Walmart (more than $5,700)”. Now we have no opinion on the Duncans' guilt or innocence, however we wanted to see if that level of campaign spending at Costco and Walmart is irregular. It is not.
Since 2009, all campaigns have spent more than $2.6 million at Costco/Walmart. 18 campaigns have spent more than $15 thousand at Costco/Walmart. 33 have spent more than $10 thousand and 111 campaigns have spent more than $5 thousand at Costco/Walmart.
At the top of the list is Hillary for America. Hillary spent more than $41 thousand at Costco/Walmart. $29 thousand of that was for “Event Supplies” and $3.5 thousand was for “Food and Drink”. Hillary however is not alone. Mitt Romney spent $34 thousand and President Trump spent $22 thousand at Costco/Walmart. Mitt once spent $3 thousand at Walmart and called it “Meeting Expense” What did he buy at Walmart that costs $3K and is used for a meeting? That is a lot of deep-fried twinkies.
Other big names that enjoy shopping at Costco/Walmart are Elizabeth Warren ($19.6K), former President Obama ($17.9K), Bernie Sanders ($17.7K) and Jeb Bush ($17.6K). All spent more than Duncan Hunter. Elizabeth Warren once spent $139 for a meal at Home Depot. I did not even know that Home Depot sells food. Former President Obama spent $447 at Walmart and called it “Travel/Lodging". Did they sleep in the Walmart? On four separate occasions, Bernie spent more than a thousand dollars on “Event Supplies” at Home Depot. What "Event Supplies" do you buy at Home Depot? Were they gardening events?
Again, we have no opinion on Duncan Hunter nor are we accusing any of the above campaigns of impropriety. We simply are stating that Duncan is not alone when it comes to spending a lot at Costco/Walmart. When a candidate can spend tens of thousands and call it “Office Supplies” or “Event Supplies” there is bound to be slippage.