How would you like to have an extra $200,000/year to spend? Sounds like a fantasy question or something one might ask a lottery winner. Or you could ask state Senate President John Alario. According to published reports, Alario spent over $700,000 in just the last 4 years from his campaign funds for personal items. Alario spent over a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions to buy Saints, LSU, Jazz Fest and other tickets. I’m not making this up. Alario spent $253,000 in just the last 4 years on tickets to mainly sporting events. He spent nearly $100,000 for cars and nearly $50,000 in high end restaurants. Another 30 grand went towards vacations and more than $7000 on golf alone. The report went on to say that the Heitmeier brothers are big spenders on personal items with their campaign funds too.
Senator David and brother Francis, who hasn’t been in public office for years, liked the free cash too. According to the report, Alario and the Heitmeier brothers are the worst offenders. But is it illegal or just unethical? University of New Orleans political science professor Ed Chervenak said
“It doesn’t pass the smell test, even though it may be within the letter of the law…Until the law is changed, these types of questionable spending will continue.” And continue they will. Unless you think Alario and the Heitmeier brothers are going to change the law and their personal spending habits. I don’t think so.