State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, is facing scrutiny for spending more than $100,000 in campaign money on lodging in Austin.
A conservative online newspaper, the Washington Free Beacon, in an article entitled “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” totaled about $131,000 spent on accommodations in the state capital. The expenditures included nearly $14,000 spent for rent and utilities at the Monarch, described as a “luxury community,” the publication reported.
Texas legislators routinely use their campaign funds to rent swanky Austin apartments, and the practice is legal. But government watchdogs for years have complained that lawmakers rely on their campaign accounts to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Davis spokeswoman Rebecca Acuña noted that no tax dollars were used and said Davis wasn’t the only person using the Austin housing rented by the campaign. She said legislative staffers also stayed in the places rented since she was elected to the Senate in 2008.
“Senator Davis has disclosed expenses related to her office responsibilities in compliance with Texas law," Acuña said.