Mattiello, Ruggerio spend more than $630K in campaign funds on meals

Senate President Nicholas Mattiello (left) and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello talk with reporters following the State of the State address January 14, 2020. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – A review shows two Rhode Island lawmakers have spent more than $630,000 in campaign funds on food, beverages and meals.

The Public’s Radio reports spending accumulated by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio surged since they moved into leadership positions.

The two lawmakers have spent a combined total of more than $700,000, with the addition of spending by leadership-controlled political action committees.

Mattiello describes these food and drink expenses as part of the job. Ruggerio, on the other hand, questions whether spending tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions each year on food and drink reinforces his political power.