Michigan lawmaker Jewell Jones has sparked outrage after admitting to spending campaign funds at a Detroit strip club, but the 26-year-old Democrat has defended the visit as a “constituent meeting.”
Jones’ March meeting was at the Pantheion Club, and its purpose was to discuss “potential economic projects,” according to a Detroit News report.
The lawmaker claims he did not fully know what kind of establishment he was walking into, but he seems to have enjoyed himself, especially the food.
“We have (to) meet people where they’re at some times… #HOLLA,” Jones wrote in a text to a reporter before recommending the “great lamb chops” served at the gentlemen’s club where he dropped over $200.
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Jones’ campaign finance statements were released this week, which cover January through most of July, and show he spent over $6,000 at various lounges and clubs in what were described as “meetings.”
The young Democrat, working in his third term, previously made headlines in April after he was pulled over and arrested for swerving in and out of lanes while driving. He eventually pulled off the road and into a ditch, and proceeded to tell officers he had oversight over their department’s budget and he would call the governor. Jones ended up blowing over the legal alcohol limit for driving.
His next hearing on the case is scheduled for August, and Jones has already been accused of violating court orders. He was fined $1,000 last week for failing to keep his alcohol monitor on due to non-payment, and prosecutors have accused Jones of lying about National Guard training to get out of drug and alcohol testing for the court.
Critics have described Jones’ spending in just seven months as “unusual,” with some pointing to dinners that cost $500 or $700 dubbed professional meetings.
Here’s an interesting one: State Rep. Jewell Jones, D-Inkser, spent more than $6,400 from his campaign account on meals for meetings over the first 7 months of 2021. That includes this dinner meeting that cost nearly $700. pic.twitter.com/YMrbL3lYr3
— Craig Mauger (@CraigDMauger) July 26, 2021
Jewell Jones is going out quite sad, I must say.
— medusa (@tinykinseyscale) July 27, 2021
Simon Schuster, executive director of the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network, blasted politicians for using campaign cash to “wine, dine and entertain themselves… all under the guise of conducting business.”
Jones’ strip club visit, however, “truly pushes the limit of credulity,” he added.
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