Lansing, Michigan – October 8, 2015 – The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics against twenty-three Members, including Rep. Dan Benishek, Rep. Tim Walberg and Rep. Mike Bishop for violating 31 U.S.C. § 1301 and House ethics rules prohibiting official resources from being used for campaign or political purposes.
Reps. Benishek, Walberg and Bishop violated these rules by entering into the “Patriot Program Contract 2015,” a contract with the National Republican Congressional Committee agreeing to provide details of the Members’ legislative strategy, including a ”detailed finance plan and budget,” in exchange for “special attention” and “campaign cash.” The intent of the contract is for Members to use the official resources available to them to coordinate and detail their legislative strategies and plans with the NRCC.
“It is no surprise that the American people have lost faith in the Republicans who recklessly run Congress,” said Mary Jennings, spokesperson for the American Democracy Legal Fund. “As if the disarray in Republican ranks isn’t bad enough, now vulnerable Republican House Members are literally selling their legislative agendas to a political committee for campaign cash. Members of Congress are supposed to craft a legislative agenda that benefits their constituents, not auction their vote off to the highest bidder. Frankly, the fact that Rep. Benishek, Rep. Walberg and Rep. Bishop don’t get that shows they are not fit to serve. We urge the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate this behavior and take swift and decisive actions against any member who treats the public trust like a commodity to be bought and sold.”
The complaint is available below and in full with exhibits.
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