Chicago’s Mayor Spent Campaign Funds On Appearance

Daily Report June 08,2024

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) has come under fire for spending $30,000 of campaign funds on personal grooming expenses, mainly for makeup and hair appointments.

Johnson’s campaign advisor, Bill Neidhardt, defended the mayor’s spending, stating that the mayor uses his own campaign funds and not taxpayer dollars for personal grooming. Neidhardt also highlighted that the expenses benefited black and women-owned businesses.

“He is using his campaign funds to pay Black and women-owned businesses, a fair wage in compensation for their work in preparing the mayor and individuals associated with the campaign for public appearances, events, media segments, and other availabilities,” Neidhardt said.

Neidhardt also noted that Johnson’s campaign, which he draws from to get his makeup done, is funded by working-class people and labor unions. The campaign advisor further defended the mayor, adding that appearances matter.

“Hair and makeup services are commonplace among high-ranking public officials,” Neidhardt said. “He’s mayor 24-7. Appearances matter.”

The majority of the campaign funds went to a single makeup artist, Denise Milloy, while the rest was spent on hair appointments at a beauty salon.

Initially, before Johnson was elected in 2023, his payment to Milloy was specifically labeled as “Candidate makeup for TV,” “Makeup retainer,” “Candidate’s makeup,” and “Candidate makeup for debate.”

However, after he was elected, the payments to the same makeup artist were put together under a general category called “campaign expenses.”

The mayor’s spending habits have sparked outrage about his priorities, particularly given that the amount he spent on personal grooming can’t be compared to other elected officials.

According to Daily Mail, Lori Lightfoot (D), Chicago’s former mayor, spent $2,000 on makeup. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle (D) paid $217 for similar services.

While Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), a billionaire, made 11 payments totaling $6,000 to a Chicago beauty salon to pay for hair styling and makeup.

The Daily Caller reports that Paul Vallas (D), who ran against Johnson during last year’s mayoral election, says he doesn’t recall spending campaign funds on grooming but notes that his baldness contributed to the lack of expenditures.

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