Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is backing a request by 2nd District congressional hopeful Liuba Grechen Shirley to use campaign funds for child care.
In a letter to the Federal Election Commission on behalf of the former secretary of state, Clinton attorney Marc Elias said the regulatory agency should allow the use.
“Denying Ms. Shirley’s request would undermine the Commission’s previous advisory opinions, discourage young mothers from seeking elective office, and deprive parents of ordinary means of the opportunity to serve,” Elias wrote to the FEC in an April 26 letter.
Grechen Shirley, 36 of Amityville, said she was surprised to find out Clinton had weighed in.
“She’s a worldwide leader on women’s rights and pay equity. I’m grateful she’s using her platform to advocate for our cause,” Grechen Shirley said in an interview Monday,
Since March 1, Grechen Shirley has paid a baby sitter $22 an hour from campaign funds to watch her two children, ages 1 and 3, while she has worked on her congressional race and her husband works in Manhattan.
She asked the FEC for an advisory opinion earlier this month to formally allow the use.
She and presiding officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague) will face off in a Democratic primary June 26. The winner will face Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) in November.
Gregory’s campaign has criticized the use of campaign funds for child care as a “slippery slope” toward a personal expense.
A Gregory spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Elias also asked that the FEC waive the 10-day deadline to submit written comments on the request.
“Having experienced recently the demands of a modern campaign, having herself been a young mother when her spouse ran for office, and having long been active in public and professional life on issues of parenthood and responsible citizenship, Secretary Clinton brings a unique perspective to Ms. Shirley’s request that we hope the Commission finds useful,” Elias wrote.
Grechen Shirley said she supported Clinton during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).
The FEC has 60 days to issue an advisory opinion.
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