This week, the Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Esther Joy King, King’s Congressional campaign, and the campaign’s treasurer. The facts strongly suggest that King has used her private apartment as her campaign headquarters, and therefore used campaign funds to subsidize her personal rent — which would be a blatant violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Public records show that Esther Joy King is registered to vote at the same building as is listed as her campaign’s address in its Statement of Organization. From 2020 to the present, King’s campaign has made 18 disbursements to the apartment building’s property management company for “rent” or “campaign office rent” ranging from $300 to $900 a month. Because these payments do not cover even the cheapest rent in the building ($999), evidence suggests that King and her campaign are splitting rent on her apartment — which suggests a direct violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
The Act bars the spending of funds for personal use and explicitly lists “rent” as an example of such personal use. In fact, the FEC website clearly states: “The campaign may not pay for mortgage, rent or utilities for the personal residence of the candidate or the candidate’s family even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign.”
The facts of DPI’s complaint are analogous to a highly publicized case in which GOP U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware Christine O’Donnell was sued by the FEC for sharing rent and utility payments with her campaign.
The complaint reads: “There is no violation that undermines the public’s faith in the election system and in our elected officials more than a candidate using their campaign as a personal piggy bank.” If this is how Esther Joy King uses her campaign funds, how would she manage a Congressional budget? With days until the election, voters deserve to know.