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State legislators spend lavishly due to leeway in laws

Jennifer Dixon and Victoria Turk of The Detroit Free Press used state campaign finance records to show that "Michigan legislators have dipped into campaign cash to buy cars, jewelry, expensive gifts and entertainment in possible violation of federal tax codes." The IRS is investigating whether the spending, which lawmakers defend as necessary, constitutes a personal benefit. One state senator "has spent roughly $64,000 in campaign contributions to buy a sedan and a sport utility vehicle, new tires, insurance and license plate tags, and to pay for repairs."

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