By Ben Kamisar
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) paid tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to donors for private flights and spent campaign money on several concerts and festivals, including a sold-out Katy Perry show, according to The Associated Press.
The report says Schock spent at least $40,000 of taxpayer money for flights on private planes owned by donors, which could be a violation of House rules, as it is illegal for candidates and lawmakers to use noncommercial aircrafts for official or campaign business. USA Today uncovered a number of the flights last week.
Schock’s political action committee, GOP Generation Y, also spent more than $24,000 on concert and event tickets, including a sold-out Katy Perry concert. The AP says a former Schock intern posted a picture on Instagram from the concert and said that her “boss” invited her.
The congressman told the AP that he regularly travels in order to meet his constituents and to raise money for campaigns and committees. He said his office will review its procedures “to determine whether they can be improved."
Allegations of improper spending have been trickling out against Schock since a Washington Post reporter in February stumbled upon a redesign of his congressional office. The office was painted and redesigned to resemble the ornate dining room featured on the TV show “Downton Abbey,” complete with red walls, a chandelier and feather-filled arrangements.
The designer initially said she had done the work for free, which could be a violation of ethics rules. Schock has since said he’s paying for the work.
USA Today also reported that Schock has spent more than $100,000 on office renovations from his taxpayer account since taking office.