The New York Times nominates the former Assemblyman from Cicero for that title, making him its prime example of what can happen to leftover campaign contributions. They are spent pretty much as the candidate wishes.
“When Michael J. Bragman, a onetime Assembly majority leader, retired from the New York State Legislature in 2001, his campaign committee had about $1 million in the bank. Six years later, Mr. Bragman is still retired, and $400,000 of that money is gone.
Mr. Bragman did not run for office again. But he did pay his wife $24,000 a year to work for a campaign committee that did no campaigning. And he spent thousands more on bottles of wine, meals at a yacht club, Christmas gifts and office rental payments to a company that he appears to control.”
Will the winds of reform being fanned through Albany by Gov. Eliot Spitzer bring about change in the laws that allow candidates to treat leftover campaign funds as their personal piggybanks? Read the full Times article here.