Biden Climate Czar John Kerry Spent Thousands In Campaign Funds On Red Sox Tickets In 2004

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What is the purpose of campaign funds?

Are campaign funds for buying lawn signs, bumper stickers, mailers, and media advertising?

The answer varies. However, if you’re one recently-appointed member of President-elect Joe Biden’s soon-to-be administration, that may include tickets to a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

If nothing changes, former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will serve as the country’s first-ever Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. This comes after he served as Secretary of State under former President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017.

Kerry was also the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2004, but he lost the election to George W. Bush. It was the last presidential election where a Republican won the popular vote. 

During that presidential campaign, Kerry raised $328,479,256, according to Open Secrets. Kerry spent large sums of money on traditional campaign tactics. However, he also spent $3,150 on Boston Red Sox tickets, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The expense comes from a July 25, 2004 game in which the Red Sox played the New York Yankees. It was a Sunday night baseball game that aired on ESPN, and the Red Sox won 9-6. Derek Lowe started; Johnny Damon, Mark Bellhorn, and Kevin Millar all hit home runs; and it ended up being star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra’s final home game as a member of the Red Sox. It was also one day after Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez started an infamous brawl where Varitek stuffed his glove in Rodriguez’s face.

The day after the brawl and a minutes before Garciaparra’s final game at Fenway in a Red Sox uniform, Kerry bounced the first pitch across home plate to a member of the United States military. Kerry threw out the first pitch to Specialist Will Pumyea, a then-23-year-old military police officer in the Massachusetts National Guard from Woburn. He had recently returned from Iraq and had previously served in Afghanistan, according to The Associated Press.

Kerry received a mixed reaction from his home state when throwing out the first pitch.

Kerry reportedly watched the game in the owners’ box with his wife and two daughters, Will Pumyea, former U.S. Senator John Glenn (D-Ohio), Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, and former Today show host Katie Couric. The Today show host dated Werner at the time. Glenn, a retired astronaut, is best known as the first American to orbit the earth.

Fenway attendees did not have to go through metal detectors when entering the facility, something which was “the normal procedure” for Kerry’s campaign events, according to The Associated Press.

Kerry also reported $2,388 worth of travel expenses related to the Red Sox in 2004. One year earlier, his campaign also reported spending $250 on Red Sox tickets on August 25. The campaign listed the tickets under the category “fundraising expenses.”

It’s unclear if the tickets in question were for an August 25, 2003 game, but the Red Sox hosted the Seattle Mariners that day and won 8-1. Pedro Martinez picked up the win on the mound, and David Ortiz hit a home run in the third inning.

A spokesman for the Federal Elections Commission told New Boston Post that the commission do not comment on specific candidates or activities. The spokesman referred New Boston Post to the FEC’s guidelines on what constitutes using campaign funds for personal use, which is illegal.

For entertainment, FEC guidelines state that, “The campaign may not pay for admission to sporting events, concerts, theater and other forms of entertainment. Campaign funds may be used, however, if the entertainment is part of a specific officeholder or campaign activity. They may not be used for a leisure outing at which the discussion occasionally focuses on the campaign or official functions.”

A spokesman for the Biden transition team did not respond to New Boston Post’s inquiry for comment this past week. Additionally, a spokesperson for Kerry could not be reached this past week.