Replace Sinema


New Reporting on How Kyrsten Sinema Uses Donor Money to Fund Her Marathon Running Hobby… Just Weeks After Reports of Luxury Campaign Spending on Travel, Wine, and Restaurants

Earlier This Month, A Group of Arizona Grassroots Leaders and Elected Legislators Called on Sinema to Resign

Last night, the Daily Beast published an explosive investigative article on Kyrsten Sinema’s use of campaign funds to pay for travel expenses related to her well-documented hobby of running in athletic competitions – including, for example, an $8,000 bill to stay at the Ritz Carlton during the Boston Marathon.

This new reporting by Sam Brodey comes amidst an ongoing Sinema spending scandal. Last month, the New York Post was the first to report on Sinema’s having spent over tens of thousands in campaign funds on luxury expenses including five star hotels and Michelin restaurants – including $20,000 on wine alone – and travel to international cities like Paris and Barcelona on her donors’ dime. That was followed up with additional reporting from 3TV/CBS5 in Phoenix. Separately, the Daily Beast previously reported on Sinema’s questionable – and very expensive – security arrangement with Tulsi Gabbard’s sister.

The spending scandal, combined with Sinema’s ongoing ties to the private equity industry fueling Arizona’s housing crisis and other special interests, has led several Arizona groups and elected legislators to call for Sinema to resign. Earlier, a complaint was filed with the Senate Ethics Committee related to Sinema’s abuse of her staff. Bizarrely, Sinema was also caught selling clothes on Facebook marketplace during the legislative workday.

“This is now a pattern: Kyrsten Sinema has been using her campaign account as a slush fund to pay for her athletic habit, just as she has done for international vacations, wine, and fancy meals,” said Sacha Haworth, spokesperson for Replace Sinema. “Arizonans sent Sinema to the Senate to fight for them, not get massages and sell her used clothes on their dime, and Arizonans deserve answers.”

Ethics experts told the Daily Beast that the campaign spending related to Sinema’s marathon competitions raises serious questions.

“Any time you see someone spend four, five, six times in a category from one of their comparables, it definitely raises a question of whether that’s a legitimate use of campaign funds—and certainly, even if it is legitimate, whether it is appropriate,” said Saurav Ghosh, an attorney with the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. “It’s almost certainly not unlawful.”


Sen. Kyrsten Sinema loves to run marathons—and to use campaign cash to pay for her stays at swanky hotels during those marathons.

by Sam Brodey // May 14, 2023


When Kyrsten Sinema ran the Boston Marathon last year, it was a proud moment the Arizona senator—an avid marathoner and triathlete—wanted to publicize[…] Far less publicized, however, was another aspect to Sinema’s long-awaited journey to Boston: She appears to have turned it into a fundraising junket, allowing her campaign to cover the thousands of dollars in expenses she would have incurred herself by traveling to the race.

[…] There’s further evidence in filings from Sinema’s personal political action committee, Getting Stuff Done PAC, which spent over $1,500 on “meeting meals” and “event supplies” at Boston-area businesses the week of the race.

As it happens, in April 2022, Sinema’s campaign paid $8,470 in lodging expenses at an unspecified Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

[…] The Boston trip was far from the first time that Sinema has appeared to fuse a donor get-together onto a personal racing trip allowing her to write off travel costs.

On at least six total occasions since 2019, Sinema has participated in a race while engaging in fundraising activity—and covering expenses—in the area of the competition, according to a review of public campaign finance and competition records.

[…] Under FEC rules, candidates cannot use campaign funds to “fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective” of their running for or holding public office.

[…] According to campaign finance experts, Sinema may be following the letter of that rule, but is pushing into a gray area by appearing to tie legitimate campaign activity to unrelated personal pursuits.

“Tacking some personal activities on to a fundraising trip is generally going to be fine,” said Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of the watchdog group Documented. “But this appears to be the inverse—tacking fundraisers on to personal trips to justify the use of campaign funds to cover the costs.”

[…] “It is one thing to ask donors for money to support your campaign and get your message out to voters, it is another to ask them to bankroll your personal life,” he said. “If an officeholder is using donor dollars to subsidize their lifestyle or finance personal expenses, then campaign contributions pose a much greater risk of corruption.”

Read the full story here.

Paid for by Change for Arizona 2024 PAC