EAST ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – People donate to politicians on the expectation that their dollars will in some way help in them win election or reelection.
According to campaign records with the Illinois Elections Board, Illinois State Senator James Clayborne from East St Louis, the number two man in the state senate, spent some $42,000 on chauffeured limousines between 2003 and 2014.
Fox 2 also discovered Clayborne spent $50,000 in campaign funds during those years on overseas travel to a dozen nations.
The senator represents some of the most impoverished areas of the metro east.
When asked to explain himself, Clayborne said, “Campaign dollars are donations. They’re not public dollars.”
But clearly the public cares how candidates spend dollars. The Illinois Policy Institute helped with this investigation.
“Campaign money should go towards campaigning,” said executive director Kristina Rasmussen.
She said there was no indication that the expenses we highlighted had anything to do with campaigning.
State Sen. Clayborne has since accused Fox 2 of conducting “trash journalism.”