Brandon Johnson

Chicago Mayor Defends Spending Over $20k of Campaign Funds on Makeup by Touting Support of “Black and Brown-Owned” Small Businesses

DCNF(DCNF)—Chicago Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson defended spending over $30,000 in campaign funds on makeup and haircuts as support for small businesses owned by “black people,” according to The Center Square.

Johnson’s campaign spent $4,000 at a hair salon and over $20,000 at a makeup shop with campaign expense reports showing 42 separate expenditures to Makeup Majic by Johnson’s campaign. Johnson responded to the reports by noting his campaign committee spent money on “a number of things” during a Wednesday news conference, according to Center Square.

“We’ll make sure that you know I encourage all of you in this room, support small businesses,” Johnson told reporters at the event. “Go get your hair and makeup done by black people in particular.”

Political campaigns are prohibited from spending money on items like clothes and vehicle purchases for a candidate, barring certain exceptions, according to the Illinois Compiled Statutes.

“Our campaign spends money on food,” Johnson told reporters at the Wednesday press conference. “We support black and brown-owned businesses, women owned businesses. Printing. There are a number of things that my campaign spends dollars on.”

“If they don’t believe it’s a good use to support small businesses, black and brown businesses, that is something that they’ll have to deal with when they meet their maker,” Johnson added.

Johnson is not the only Illinois mayor to come under fire for lavish spending. Democratic Mayor Tiffany Henyard of Dolton, Illinois was criticized for trips to Times Square, Atlanta and Austin, Texas, according to WGN. The funds were spent on first-class airfare, ritzy hotels, including a Marriott and Four Seasons and meals at high-end restaurants.

“You all should be ashamed of yourselves because you all are black. You all are black! And you all sitting up here beating and attacking a black woman that’s in power,” Henyard said in response to critics of the spending, according to video posted on X in February. “You all should be ashamed of yourselves.”

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