State Senator Spends Campaign Cash on Tony Robbins Seminar

Tony Robbins. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Tony Robbins. (Wikipedia)

State Senator David Carlucci, one of the Democratic lawmakers governing his chamber’s bipartisan majority coalition, apparently wanted a little self-help from Tony Robbins.

Mr. Carlucci’s latest filing includes $495 spent on a seminar sponsored by the famous self-help guru and author of books like Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement and Awaken the Giant Within. Though some may suggest the seminar falls outside the bounds of campaign spending, a source close to the senator insisted it had everything to do with politics. 

“The senator went as a way to bolster his knowledge on communications,” the source explained. (Mr. Carlucci declined comment.)

Mr. Carlucci bought a general admission ticket in August of last year for a four-day Tony Robbins event in November known as “Unleash the Power Within.” Held at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, N.J., the event featured Mr. Robbins himself, according to a company spokesman. Attendees, beyond hearing Mr. Robbins speak, could have also walked on burning hot coals with the self-help guru.

The Tony Robbins “experience” varies widely in price—front-row seats and complimentary lunches can cost attendees as much as $2,595, making Mr. Carlucci’s expenditure relatively modest, but good government groups have long assailed the large loopholes in state election law that allow pols to spend campaign money on items not directly related to political activity.

“Pretty much anything can be interpreted as a campaign cost on the state level,” said Bill Mahoney, a research coordinator for NYPIRG. “It’s kind of what defines ‘anything goes.'”