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Massachusetts: Rep. Lynch's campaign buys him a car

The Boston Globe reports: US Representative Stephen F. Lynch has something none of his colleagues in the Massachusetts congressional delegation possesses: a spiffy new sport utility vehicle underwritten by campaign contributors but owned by the lawmaker himself.

Two months ago, the South Boston Democrat bought a 2007 Chrysler Aspen for $44,641, using as a down payment $10,000 from his campaign account and a $2,020 trade-in allowance from a 2002 GMC Envoy. He had purchased the Envoy under a somewhat similar arrangement after winning a special election in 2001 to succeed the late J. Joseph Moakley in the Ninth Congressional District.

The new Aspen belongs to Lynch and is registered in his name with a distinctive "USA 9" license plate, even though his campaign committee is assuming the $766-a-month payments and all other costs, including a $6,437 annual insurance premium.

His personal ownership of the vehicle is unusual among members of Congress; usually, vehicles are leased by campaign committees, and, in cases in which the committees purchase a vehicle, it is registered in the name of the campaign. Since at least 1995, when regulations on personal use of campaign vehicles were tightened, the Federal Election Commission has never ruled on an arrangement like Lynch's. -- Lynch campaign pays for personal vehicle - The Boston Globe

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