US Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has taken heat for spending campaign funds on lavish foreign vacations, posh restaurants and Napa wineries – and fresh filings show she also likes to spend big on personal security services.
The lawmaker from Arizona has spent nearly $700,000 on security alone since 2021, including $640,000 worth of campaign cash and an additional $53,000 of Senate funds, according to public election filings.
That’s second only to US Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who spent $1,525,920 on safety as he campaigned in a closely fought race last fall and was forced to pay for President Biden’s security detail.
Coming in at No. 3 is Sinema’s Arizona counterpart, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly – whose wife, former US Rep. Gabby Giffords, was left critically injured after being shot in 2011 – and who spent $373,611 during the same period.
By comparison, most US senators spend just a few thousand dollars on their security. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) spent nothing; Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) spent $856; Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) spent $4,915; and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) $3,839.
Sinema’s security spending initially came under scrutiny in February after the Daily Beast reported she spent $307,000 of PAC money with an LLC called TOA. According to filings, TOA’s only officer is Vrindivan Gabbard Bellord, the sister of Tulsi Gabbard.
TOA’s only client is Sen. Sinema. In addition to the six-figure sum spent with Bellord, Sinema has also spent $240,000 on security-related expenses like transportation and meals for Bellord.
Some of the line items are raising eyebrows. Sinema charged the PAC $95 for a bike rental which Bellord posted on her Instagram. In the comments, Bellord said the bike was “thanks to our friend.”
While Bellord was a federal marshal, this is the first time she’s done private security. She lives in Leander, Texas and has declared the Lone Star state her primary residence – a potentially costly circumstance as her client Sinema splits her time between Arizona and Washington, DC, On The Money has learned.
Since the Daily Beast report, Sinema has spent another $130,000 security, filings show.
Meanwhile, filings also reveal that in October, Sinema spent $70,000 on a “security detail vehicle.” In November, she bought a second security vehicle for a man named Lance Polloreno.
Polloreno runs an HVAC company and has never done professional security. He is, however, a fellow endurance runner and his wife sits on a board with Sinema as well.
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