Paul Gosar spent nearly $8,000 of taxpayer money to attend events with far-right groups

 U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar in December 2021. Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Prescott Republican Congressman Paul Gosar spent more than $7,800 for travel, lodging and vehicle expenses while attending events with far-right groups and white nationalists, according to a review of the congressman’s finances by a nonpartisan watchdog group. 

The Moonlight Foundation conducted a review of congressional travel that showed Gosar has spent more on travel than any other congressman in the past five years. An additional review of the data by CNN found he has spent nearly $1 million on travel since 2016 — including having taxpayers pay for his trip to speak at a white nationalist conference in Florida in 2021. 

Gosar was the first sitting politician to attend the America First Political Action Conference, or AFPAC for short, that is organized by white nationalist Nick Fuentes who Gosar is now attempting to distance himself from

Gosar spent nearly $3,500 to travel to Florida with his chief of staff Tom Van Flein to attend both the Conservative Political Action Conference and AFPAC. While there, the pair billed an additional $1,000 in hotel rooms. Gosar also charged the government an additional $1,000 for what appears to be a single day vehicle rental during that week. 

In July 2018, Gosar came under scrutiny for having a lengthy dinner with Belgian official Filip DeWinter, a leader in the far-right Flemish Nationalist party that traces its roots back the Vlaams Blok, which sought to collaborate with the Nazis in WWII. 

Gosar was speaking with DeWinter about an anti-Muslim activist who was jailed in the United Kingdom for breaking rules barring reporting on ongoing court cases. Initially, Gosar told a house ethics committee that a group named the Middle East Forum had paid for the trip. However, an analysis by CNN found he charged taxpayers $2,300 in commercial travel expenses. 

A day after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, Gosar charged $1,787 on commercial transportation, the Moonlight Foundation found.

A spokesman for Gosar’s office told CNN that the expenses were all within the realm of official activity and have been reviewed both “in-house” and by the House of Representatives. However, lawmaker spending is largely protected from public scrutiny, as expenses are filed under general categories such as “commercial transportation” or “travel.” 

Gosar has far outspent other members of Arizona’s delegation. Republican Congressmen Andy Biggs spent only $69,000 in 2021 and David Schweikert spent just $47,000.

7 thoughts on “Paul Gosar spent nearly $8,000 of taxpayer money to attend events with far-right groups

    1. Hello Nan. When I was stationed in Stuttgart Germany working for the United States European Command, one of the functions of the morning briefings covered what congress delegations were in Europe, how many family members and staff they had with them, what they claimed they were there to over give over sight to, and their itinerary of famous sightseeing sites and restaurants.

      It was a well known secret that members of congress would go on junkets, claiming they needed to investigate or see something, and flying either taxpayer paid for military planes or big donor private planes, they would bring their families and favored staff over to Europe to have fun for two or three weeks paid for by the US government meaning the taxpayer. Rooms, meals, travel. The military provided transportation, assistance and staff, and some security. If the congress man wanted a photo op with a military background we would arrange it. It would all be called a legitimate duty of congress and signed off by the leadership of the political parties.

      I know you never followed politics before so you might want to google political junkets to see how popular and problematic they had gotten to be. I think congress clamped down on these trips, but they are still done for those connected enough. For example, a recent trip by Democrats was paid for by taxpayers, but a trip before that which 6 Republicans went on was paid for by their big money donors.

      Either way what none of them think of is the public in the US who don’t get enjoy their perks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. IMO, the “visits” by Jill Biden and Kamala Harris to Ukraine were totally for show. What REAL business do either of them have in a war zone? Oh sure, political niceties and all that, but c’mon! And OUR tax dollars paid for their jaunts.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hello Nan. To a point I agree with you. Pelosi’s trip was grandstanding for a political point back home. It was not even bipartisan.

          But the FLOTUS and the Vice President of the US showing up in Ukraine during a war with Russia sent a valuable and strong message. It was a warning to Putin. Here is how important this is that I am willing to send my wife and the VP into the area of the battle and you better not strike at them. It was an escalation of the US into the war. It was a signal to Putin that the US considers the Ukraine as our area, our friend. It put two of the US most important targets right in front of the Russians and dared them to strike them. Russia knew it would have been suicide to do so. That was the point. It was a total political power play. And I think it worked.

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          1. sent a valuable and strong message. — I suppose, but I still don’t think any of them (I forgot to mention Pelosi — hers was the worst!) needed to be visiting during the height of a war! Moreover, has anyone considered the cost for these “well-wishing” trips?

            I understand your POV, Scottie, I just don’t agree.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hello Nan. Sadly part of that each party does is find photo opportunities. Generally the ones in charge get to use foreign policy for that. Normally I feel as you do. It is using the US tax money for their own gain. But all that aside, who, if anyone, do you think should go to a place like Ukraine or other war area like when we were in Iraq or Afghanistan? Should it be high ranking military people, and do we want them trying to get airtime?

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              1. Send $$$$$ … and equipment … NOT people. Of course, we’ve been doing that anyway, but IMO, shaking hands and smiling and having meetings to offer verbal support have little effect on the REAL issues of this war … or any war. In the modern world, well-wishes and promises of support can be done via videos and/or other technology.

                Liked by 1 person

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