By Corrie MacLaggan | Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 03:35 PM

GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina said today that she used campaign dollars on clothing “because I’m a poor small-business provider not usually wardrobed like people would expect a gubernatorial candidate to be wardrobed.”


Her comments came during a meeting with Austin American-Statesman editorial board. News reporters (who do not participate in editorial board decisions about which candidates the newspaper will endorse) regularly sit in on editorial board meetings with candidates.


A report filed with the Texas Ethics Commission shows that Medina spent nearly $2,500 on clothing between July and December. The Dallas Morning News’ Christy Hoppe reported on the spending this morning on the Trail Blazers blog.


State law generally prohibits public officials from spending campaign funds for personal use. And a Texas Ethics Commission advisory opinion says that political contributions can only be used to pay for clothing if the clothing “is not adaptable to general use as ordinary clothing.” That opinion says that a tuxedo rented for a legislative gala is OK.


Medina said that after the campaign, she’ll likely donate the clothing to charity.


At the Statesman, Medina criticized Texas ethics rules that she said make it nearly impossible for people who are not wealthy to run for office.


“Do I enjoy having to use campaign funds to pay for my clothes?” Medina asked. “No, it makes me very uncomfortable. But it’s probably more important that I pay my mortgage, and so the campaign’s going to get to pay for the clothes that I have to wear and the shoes that I wear.”


Medina’s spending report shows wardrobe purchases from Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, New York & Co., Limited Store and an unnamed store at First Colony Mall in Sugar Land.


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Replies to This Discussion

I don't see this as a big deal, personally. People don't want career politicians anymore. The "regular Joe/Josie" may not be able to afford several nice suits and shoes for the campaign trail. Especially when they have to cover 4 times the ground of a career politician.

If it becomes a huge problem for her maybe someone will tag a donation for the clothes.
Weren't you doing an investigation on D.W.??? Then you deleted your page?

Maybe you should get some $$ raised for her. Using the campaign funds for clothes is against the Ethics Commission. Remember Palin - and she didn't use Campaign funds - The GOP bought them and they were returned.
Wrong, I was not doing an investigation on anyone. I have a ning site. People post information on it, that's how it works, that's all it is. He got disruptive, so I suspended him and deleted the posts that he felt, and those that I felt were offensive. That's good moderating.

I do remember Palin. She bought outrageously expensive designer clothing and had a stlylist. I also heard that the clothes were later donated. It doesn't seem to have hurt her popularity.

I think ultimately, the people will want "regular people" as elected officials, and these ethics guidelines will be changed.
There you go again, Jennifer. Trashing me online. What does Medina think of you using politics of personal destruction. Why didn't you leave your little blog up so everyone could see what you were doing. Please go back to your little site and play there with all of the other children. Oh ya, and rename it "Fascist Fanatics for Medina", there is no liberty to be found there. As an unpaid staff member of the Medina campaign, you are doing her great harm. The best thing you could do for Medina, is go stuff envelops.

By the way, is this you disrupting the Texas State's Rights Rally with your Medina thugs?

I am not trashing you Dean, honestly. Look at what I wrote. It's all true, and there isn't anything inflammatory about it.

I wasn't at the Rally, as I have previously stated. No one is proud of what happened there.
I'm wondering then why you had Dean's full Page on your site....I saw it when I was asked to join the group by one of your members. I decided against it.....

Maybe it was a different site..........
It wasn't a problem when Sarah Palin did it and it's not a problem that Medina is doing it either. She should look good while trying to get elected. This is just another reasons why people without money have a hard time getting elected to office. The issues are more important than what she's wearing or where she's shopping.
Sarah didn't use campaign funds - Medina did. She knows the ethic laws for campaigning. Should she get special treatment??
Do you put Medina above Ethics??
Do you put Perry above our daughters and grand-daughters health, above our sovereignty, above the abyssal record on protecting our border?
I'm not sure what campaign laws say about the campaign spending money on clothes for their candidate, but at least Medina has been honest about it. What I think is that Perry mandating Guardisil for our daughters is a greater ethics error, since he had no right. And I do believe John McCains campaign did buy the clothes for Sarah. You don't remember how the Dems tried to use the campaign's buying Sarah clothes to smear her?
Actually Medina was NOT honest about it. Any citizen can see where a candidate's funds come from and where they go. Read the article. Why should the Ethics Commission have to change their structure for one candidate? There's a large number of candidates running statewide and they can obey the rules.........





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