South Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office is claiming her appearance at the Grammy awards Sunday wasn’t a just a junket for a star-struck politician dying to rub elbows with the glitterati.
It was a research trip, paid for by the congresswoman’s campaign funds.
That’s the story being spun by Wasserman Schultz’s office, anyway, after a New York Times reporter posted a photo of the Democrat in the background of a television standup – a photo that rocketed around the Twitter world. (The presence of Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee in the same photo helped.)
Since it’s easier to keep a straight face by email, Wasserman Shultz communications director Sean Bartlett had no problem passing this spiel to the Sun-Sentinel (subscription required.)
“[Wasserman Schultz] was in Los Angeles to attend a series of official and political events during Grammys weekend and at the Grammys, where she joined her colleagues on both sides of the aisle in learning more about pressing issues before the music industry as Congress prepares to take up related legislation.”
Bartlett told the Sun Sentinel that Wasserman Schultz used campaign funds for the trip — not official, federal money to listen to her favorite stars, up close and personal.
Wasserman Schultz wasn’t the only Florida representative to attend the LA shindig. U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, another Dem, went to. He, like Wasserman Schultz, paid for the trip out of his campaign funds, his office told the Sun Sentinel.
The irrepressible Jackson Lee of Texas, on the other hand, told local reporters she paid for her ticket out of her own pocket.
So on the bright side for taxpayers, none of these three, at least, were using federal money to shake their booties with Beyonce.
On the down side for donors to Dems like DWS, though, it means the money they’re giving to keep the congresswoman in Congress is going to plane tickets to LA for some face time with the stars.
But, hey, it’s all for research purposes. And you can bet Wasserman Schultz did a ton of research when she attended a “briefing” at The Village recording studio. There, according to Politico, she was among a handful of reps who met up with Graham Nash, the aging hippie and prolific Democrat fundraiser.
Wasserman Schulz’s story might be easier to buy if she’d publicized the Grammys trip before that chance photo went wide.
As the Sun Sentinel reports, the “inveterate tweeter” never said a word about it on Twitter account.
It’s one of the rare times she’s kept quiet about anything.
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