Candidate Wins Approval to Use Campaign Funds for Child Care

The Federal Election Commission on Thursday gave a woman candidate running for Congress the green light to use portions of her campaign funds to pay for child care.

Liuba Grechen Shirley, a New York mother of two young children running for Congress on Long Island, pays $22 an hour for a babysitter to take care of her toddlers for about 20 hours per week.

Last month she petitioned the FEC asking for permission to use campaign funds to pay for child care, citing two cases from 1995 and 2008 where male candidates asked to use campaign funds to pay for certain child care expenses in more limited circumstances.

In her letter to the FEC, Grechen Shirley wrote that prior to running for Congress, she worked from home as a consultant and was able to care for her 3-year-old daughter, Mila, and 2-year-old son, Nicholas, full time.

"It's a juggling act every day," Grechen Shirley told reporters on a conference call Thursday. "I take conference calls while nursing my son and while my daughter is running around and playing."

When she decided to run, she says she had to hire a part-time babysitter so she could focus on the campaign.

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