Georgia is Republican Kelly Loeffler the richest member of the United States Senate, but that didn’t stop the nominee Senator from pitching an illegal cash to fund her contested bid for a full term in the Chamber.
Loeffler is involved in a January 5th runoff race with Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat who finished ahead of her in the first vote on November 3rd. She launches a desperate campaign that fills the waves of Atlanta’s air a rush of negative ads and although the multimillionaire could pay it herself, Loeffler is instead appealing for money from across the country to pay for what is possibly the most expensive Senate campaign in history.
The Senator did so on Nov. 18 when she appeared on a Fox News broadcast on the Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda. Loeffler did not talk about Senate business that day. She talked about politics and after repeatedly attacking Warnock, the Senator announced, “Well, we know hundreds of millions of dark, liberal funds are pouring into our state. That is why it is so important that everyone around the country get involved. You can visit KellyforSenate.com to raise $ 5 or $ 10 and volunteer. “
The appeal was a direct request for campaign funds made in a federal building. It’s illegal. The section of the Code of Laws of the United States of America Dealing with the procurement of campaign funds in federal buildings, 18 USC 607Clearly states:
Any person who is a federal government official, including the President, Vice President, and members of Congress, is prohibited from soliciting or receiving a monetary donation or other valuable item in connection with any state or local election in a room or building in that a United States official or employee performs official duties, by anyone.
The Code provides harsh penalties for malefactors: “Any person who violates this section will be fined no more than $ 5,000, or imprisonment for a maximum of 3 years, or both.”
Loeffler’s appointment was also in contradiction U.S. Senate Ethics Rules, what state clear that “Senate members and employees are not allowed to receive or solicit campaign contributions in any federal building.”
Loeffler isn’t the first contested Republican to be caught breaking legal and ethical boundaries in search of campaign money. In October, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was asked to make an appearance on television from outside the room where the Senate Judiciary Committee was discussing the Supreme Court appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. “I don’t know how much it affected fundraising today,” he said of the hearing, “but if you want to help me fill the gap, lindseygraham.com. A little goes a long way. ” That comment led us Representative Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat who is a former prosecutor, too To mark Federal laws that prohibit such activities and state: “This is a crime. [Lindsey Graham] committed a crime in sight. “An ethics complaint has been filed against Graham but it has not yet been resolved by the Lethargic Senate Ethics Committee.
Loeffler’s bad luck was far more obvious than Graham’s. She explicitly mentioned dollar amounts and specifically asked donors to interfere in her campaign. And surveillance groups noticed. The Impartial Campaign Legal Center has Filed a complaintcalling on the Ethics Committee to conduct “a swift investigation” into what the organization describes as “an apparent violation of rules prohibiting the raising of political funds on federal property.”
“If the Ethics Committee fails to re-examine this matter and holds both Graham and Loeffler accountable, the Senate will set a dangerous precedent that the request for the submission of campaign contributions on federal property is permissible. ” to warn the centre’s General Counsel, Kedric Payne; and Delaney Marsco, a legal counsel specializing in ethical issues. “Such a result is not only in contradiction to the clear rules and guidelines of the ethics committee, but also to a basic principle of the ethical public service: The federal funds may not be used for political purposes.”
The The American Democracy Legal Fund has also filed a complaint. The president of this organization, Brad Woodhouse, says that Loeffler’s “call for donations from the Capitol was illegal and plain and simple”.
The Democratic Party of Georgia has filed its own complaint, requesting that the Justice Department investigate Loeffler’s televised appeal for funds. “Senator Kelly Loeffler has made another decision to use her position of power for personal and political gain by illegally soliciting donations on national television while on federal property.” says Scott Hogan, the party’s executive director. “She not only violated the rules of the Senate, but also against federal law.”
Loeffler’s apologists have put forward a novel defense that suggests The legal ban on senators asking for money in federal buildings is only intended to prevent lawmakers from meeting donors in their offices or making calls for donations over official phones. But that’s absurd.
The Senate Ethics Manual specifically states The “No Political advertising activities should be carried out with support from all federal funds [staff or space] in order to avoid any question of violating 18 U.S.C. § 607 has occurred. “The whole point of the rules prohibiting senators from begging for campaign money in federal buildings – whether they are ‘voting for dollars’ or appearing on national television asking donors to intervene – is to prevent them from visiting their offices Take advantage of their options. Loeffler took the bogus part of politics out of the back room and reinforced it on national television. If not held accountable, the message is that ethical standards and the rule of law do not apply to millionaires and billionaires trying to make the United States Congress their privileged playground.