House Democrats hit with ethics charge for fundraising during gun control sit-in
Last week several Democratic House members staged a sit-in, complete with catered meals, and threatened to stay there until gun control legislation was brought to the floor–they did not quite make it that long. There was apparently one small potential problem with this publicity stunt and that is that Democrats were fundraising during the event and that could be a violation of the rules.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust has now filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics, here is more:
A conservative-leaning ethics watchdog group filed an ethics complaint on Monday against House Democrats who participated in last week’s sit-in to push for votes on gun legislation.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics calling for an investigation into multiple Democrats fundraising over the sit-in and using official resources for political purposes.
The group pointed to fundraising emails from House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, soliciting campaign donations during the sit-in. The email signed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) implored supporters: “The Republicans refuse to lift a finger. It’s shameful. I need your help to defeat them once and for all.”
Another email sent by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) asked supporters to sign a petition in support of the sit-in and included a photo of the House floor.
House ethics rules state that lawmakers cannot use official resources — including locations in the Capitol complex — for campaign or political activities. Campaign ads, for instance, cannot be filmed or photographed in congressional offices.
“Not only do these email solicitations tied directly to official acts reflect poorly on the House of Representatives, the emails are directly contrary to the purposes and prohibitions of the Ethics Rules,” Matthew Whitaker, the group’s executive director, wrote.
“This type of behavior is precisely why the public distrusts elected officials,” Whitaker added.
The Democrats responded by basically saying the rules are stupid:
“If you want people to calm down, there’s a better way than fighting a stupid battle over rules.”
Of course they think the rules are stupid because they believe rules are for the little people not for them, they believe they are above the rules.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has not ruled out punishing the members who broke the rules but to date he has not done a thing. It seems as if he is content to let the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust do his dirty work for him and personally I do not think he is up to the fight.
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium