Virginia lawmakers banish pricey gifts, but not fundraisers

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The old days of Virginia’s elected officials accepting gifts like _ designer clothes, exclusive tickets to sporting events and lavish vacations _ are over. But public officials can still spare no expense when it comes to fundraising for their virtually unregulated campaign accounts. A review of campaign finance data by The Associated Press found elected officials have used their campaign accounts in recent years to pay for fundraisers that include birthday blowouts, high-dollar hunting and fishing trips, and expensive golf tournaments. That spending occurred as lawmakers tried to improve the state’s reputation by placing limits on gifts from lobbyists and others.

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