FACT Calls for Investigation Into Rep. Ruben Gallego For Linking Official Legislation To Campaign Fundraising
Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a government accountability group filed a House ethics complaint against Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) on Friday, accusing him of soliciting campaign contributions while referencing legislation he authored.
FACT has filed a formal complaint and is requesting the House Office of Congressional Ethics investigate whether Gallego, 43, improperly asked for campaign contributions while touting “critical legislation” concerning extreme heat, which he introduced as a member of Congress.
The House Ethics Manual prohibits political contributions or campaign solicitations by any lawmaker while serving in their official role: “[N]o solicitation of a campaign or political contribution may be linked to an action taken or to be taken by a Member or employee in his or her official capacity.” Members are advised “that they should always exercise caution to avoid even the appearance that solicitations of campaign contributions are connected in any way with an action taken or to be taken in their official capacity.”
Despite the policies, Congressman Gallego reportedly sent a campaign fundraising email that acknowledged certain legislation he introduced and solicited support for “this critical legislation” by directing readers to click a link. The link leads to a webpage with a request for a campaign donation at the bottom of the page. Legislation is a major example that cannot be directly linked to a campaign contribution solicitation.
“Gallego inextricably intertwines a specific piece of legislation with a solicitation for a campaign donation,” Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT detailed to OCE chief counsel Omar Ashmawy in a request to an investigation. “This type of fundraising not only erodes public confidence in our elected officials, who should only be acting on merit, but it also appears to be a violation of the ethics rules. My hope is the OCE recognized the importance of enforcing this rule, and investigates and takes action in this case,” Arnold continues.
“Moreover, this damages public confidence in our elected officials,” Arnold added. “Members are to act impartially and on merit, not on ‘partisan affiliation’ or for ‘campaign contributions’ — this type of fundraising indicates the exact opposite.”
A copy of FACT’s complaint can be found HERE.
FACT is a nonprofit organization promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org