Fun with numbers: “Plumbing” fees, cruise costs and other candidate expenses

When candidates submit their quarterly campaign finance reports, wags and the opposition are, rightfully so, concerned mostly with the amount raised.

But it’s fun as well to see what office-seekers spent their money on, which is also included in disclosure forms.

Candidates in Missouri had some interesting expenditures for the last quarter, which ran form April 1 to June 30:

* As the Arch City Chronicle points out, State Rep. Allen Icet, the Wildwood Republican running in the GOP primary for state auditor, gave $6,000 to Samuel Wurzelbach of Holland, Ohio. Wurzelbach, of course, is better known as “Joe the Plumber,” the campaign insta-lebrity who made an appearance for Icet earlier this year.
* Congressional hopeful Tommy Sowers has a new commercial out, but the Rolla Democrat spent hundreds of dollars last quarter to advertise on Facebook.
* U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, who faces only nominal opposition for re-election, held a fundraiser on a Potomac River cruiser. The St. Louis Democrat also, apparently, treated supporters to a Dodgers game (the team the Cards swept this weekend), paying the Los Angeles baseball club $350 in April for a “fundraising expense.”
* State Senate hopeful Sam Page spent $22,304 on polling; Gov. Jay Nixon, $23,400.
* State Rep. Rachel Storch, who is not seeking another term this fall, spent much of her remaining campaign fund on donations, charitable and political: Storch contributed to the American Diabetes Association, as well as to the campaign of University City lawyer Susan Carlson, who Storch is endorsing to take her seat.
* Mayor Francis Slay used his robust campaign account to pay for a recent trip to China. Slay is among a group of local officials hoping to convince Chinese officials to invest in making St. Louis a “trade hub.” Slay also spent $487 on wedding gifts Randall’s Wine and Spirits. Slay’s prodigious fundraiser, Matthew Lieberman, tied the knot last month.

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