Last year, The Drill Down reported on third ranking House Demo James Clyburn (D-SC) making 50 direct payments to companies owned by family members for a total of $200,000 in cash.
And enriching family members with campaign cash isn’t an unusual occurrence.
There’s Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and her incredibly suspicious money trail, dropping $3 million to her husband Tim Mynett’s political consulting firm, the E Street Group, over several years.
And, of course, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) who has paid her daughter, Karen Waters, more than $1.2 million dollars for “slate mailer management” and “campaign managing services.”
Now, the GOP is looking to put a ban on such activities.
According to The New York Post, “The Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act, to be introduced by Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) on Monday, would bar any candidate running for federal office from compensating immediate family members for campaign services,”
“It is currently legal for lawmakers to employ family members to work on campaigns. However, Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit paying candidate relatives a salary unless they are ‘providing bonafide services to the campaign’ and the salary represents ‘fair market value of the services provided.’ The legislation – first reviewed by The Post – would extend the ban to any political committee ‘established, maintained or controlled by a candidate or an individual holding Federal office’ – blocking any current lawmaker from compensating a family member for working on their campaign,” the report added.
“Maxine Waters [paid] $1.1 million to her daughter from campaign funds,” Fallon told The Post in a statement. “Ilhan Omar, $2.9 million to her husband from campaign funds. James Clyburn, over $200,000 to multiple family members from his campaign.”
(Hey, maybe he’s a reader of The Drill Down.)
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Fallon added. “Americans are sick of politicians abusing their voters’ hard-earned money. This modern-day spoils system must end. My bill shines light on shady campaign finance practices while punishing those who take advantage of these funds to enrich their families.”
According to Fox News, “Rep. Waters was reportedly the only federal politician to use a slate-mailer operation during the 2020 general election. While it’s legal for federal lawmakers to employ family members on campaigns, the practice is generally frowned upon by ethics experts.”
Time to get rid of some of these gray areas that are “generally frowned upon.”