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Lawmakers Spent $30K Of Campaign Funds On Pro Sports Tickets

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Posted at 6:57 PM, Aug 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-08 04:38:58-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A recent analysis of state campaign finance records showed at least seven Tennessee lawmakers collectively spent more than $30,000 in campaign money on tickets to professional sporting events since 2003.

According to reports, the tickets were to Tennessee Titans and Memphis Grizzlies games. Democratic Representative Larry Miller of Memphis spent the most: $12,836.50. Of that amount, $8,378 was for Titans tickets, and $4,458.50 was used to purchase Grizzlies tickets.

Miller said what he did was "within the rules," and he's right.

Although state law has banned the use of campaign funds for tickets to sporting events, concerts or other similar activities, there's an exemption that has allowed essentially all ticket purchases to go unchecked.

Buying such tickets with campaign funds has largely been banned for federal candidates, but the campaign finance laws in Tennessee and a slew of other states have either allowed or didn't clearly ban such purchases. 

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)