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Critics question Rep. Brett Hulsey's use of campaign funds

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Critics are questioning a state lawmaker’s use of campaign funds for a used convertible and a registration fee for a triathlon.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Assembly Democrat Brett Hulsey paid almost $1,200 for his red convertible, and $85 to take part in the Pardeeville Triathlon on July 6th.

The Madison lawmaker has been criticized the past couple years for taking photos of an unfamiliar boy at a beach, bringing a box cutter to his Capitol office for protection, and bringing a muzzle-loading rifle onto the Assembly floor.

Now, Hulsey tells Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice that he justifies the use of campaign funds for a car because he drives it in parades in his district. Hulsey also said the triathlon was meant to reach out to constituents, even though the event was 35 miles from his district.

Hulsey said he got clearance from the Government Accountability Board to use campaign money for his convertible – something the board would not confirm.

State Republicans were critical, but Hulsey says he blames Democrats for leaking negative stories about him.

The second-term lawmaker and former Sierra Club leader has said he might become an independent.