Congressional Alchemy

A 1979 amendment to federal election laws allowed members of Congress who were elected before 1980 and left office before 1994 to convert unused campaign donations to personal use. All told, retiring lawmakers have received a $10.5 million windfall. A partial accounting:

Ex-Congressman

Representative Silvio Conte (R-Mass.)

What His Campaign Donations Bought

A $40,000 tombstone (Conte died in office in 1991)

Ex-Congressman

Representative John J. Rhodes (D-Ariz.; left office 1983)

What His Campaign Donations Bought

Club memberships; a portrait of himself in oils

Ex-Congressman

Senator Dan Quayle (R-Ind.; left office 1989)

What His Campaign Donations Bought

A $50,000 donation to the...

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