Rep. Devin Nunes spent $14,637.71 in political funds on Boston Celtics tickets last year, according to federal filings, but the California Republican’s office says the tickets were perfectly legal fundraising expenses.
Federal Election Commission records show that the congressman’s political group, NEW PAC, made three payments to the TD Garden box office for tickets during the NBA season last year: $7,300 on Feb. 9, 2017; $5,700 on April 11, 2017; and $1,588 on May 8, 2017. The transactions were listed as fundraising expenses.
Liz Mair, a Republican political strategist with the Swamp Accountability Project, told McClatchy, which first reported on NEW PAC’s spending habits Thursday, that “Nunes has got to be one of about 15 people in his district that spends the NBA season rooting for the guys from Teddy Kennedy’s turf instead of local favorites.”
Despite growing up in his central California district, the congressman has reportedly been a Celtics fan since high school. According to a profile of Nunes in the Los Angles Times last year, he spent his teen years “adoring Larry Bird,” even though his home state has four NBA teams. Nunes retweeted a CelticsBlog article last year suggesting that Bird was the reason for his Celtics fandom.
Mair, whose group has been campaigning against Nunes, said the controversy–plagued congressman’s NBA allegiance is a moot point. The FEC prohibits campaign or PAC spending for “personal use” or gain,…