Blog — Ethics
60 Minutes' report on congressional misbehavior, Washington's Open Secret, drew heavily on CREW's exhaustive research and deep expertise. Our research staff examined campaign finance documents and numerous other sources to uncover abuse by our elected officials.
“While there are anti-nepotism rules that prevent them from hiring their family members on the official staff, they can indeed hire them on the campaign payroll and do."
"They have members of their family on the campaign payroll. And they also will often have members of their family who are lobbyists and lobby on issues in which the member may even be working.”
- Melanie Sloan
The last time 60 Minutes ran a piece on abuses in Congress, it fueled public outrage and led to the passage of the STOCK Act, which had been languishing for years. We hope this story will create similar demand for the kinds of reforms CREW has long called for.
This isn't the first time we've shined a light on shady practices between members of Congress and their families. Last year's Family Affair report found 248 members of the House of Representatives (105 Democrats and 143 Republicans) who were using their official positions to benefit themselves and their families during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
Family Affair 2012's key findings:
- 82 members (40 Democrats and 42 Republicans) paid family members through their congressional offices, campaign committees and political action committees (PACs);
- 44 members (20 Democrats and 24 Republicans) have family members who lobby or are employed in government affairs;
- 90 members (42 Democrats and 48 Republicans) have paid a family business, employer, or associated nonprofit;
- 20 members (13 Democrats and 7 Republicans) used their campaign money to contribute to a family member’s political campaign;
- 14 members (6 Democrats and 8 Republicans) charged interest on personal loans they made to their own campaigns;
- 38 members (24 Democrats and 14 Republicans) earmarked to a family business, employer, or associated nonprofit.
More Blog Posts
Payments to an Iowa state senator took a circuitous and possibly illegal route, in an effort to avoid ethics laws. Read More ›
October 4, 2013 | Elections, Ethics, Office of Congressional Ethics, Federal Agencies, Federal Election Commission (FEC), Most Corrupt, Republicans, State Ethics, States, Iowa, House Members, Michele Bachmann
Georgia Rep. Paul Broun still has not come clean about the circumstances surrounding hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to his campaign. Read More ›
September 23, 2013 | Campaign Finance Reform, Congress, Corruption, Ethics, Office of Congressional Ethics, Federal Agencies, Federal Election Commission (FEC), House, Most Corrupt, States, Georgia, House Members, Paul Broun
In a predictably 5-to-4 opinion, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, declared DOMA an unconstitutional violation of equal protection guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment Read More ›
Congress was out of session this week, but some members continued to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Read More ›
March 29, 2013 | 501c Groups, Advertisements, Congress, Elections, Ethics, House Ethics Committee, Office of Congressional Ethics, Federal Agencies, National Park Service (NPS), Governance & Legislation, Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), News, Washington Post, Super PACs, Supreme Court, Citizens United decision, House Members, Don Young, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, President Barack Obama
There was a fair amount of ethics-related news this week, some serious, some comical, and some right out of a novel. Read More ›
March 22, 2013 | 501c Groups, Campaign Finance Reform, Congress, Earmarks, Ethics, House Ethics Committee, Federal Agencies, Federal Election Commission (FEC), FOIA, News, Washington Post, Pay to Play, Republican National Committee (RNC), Super PACs, House Members, Don Young, Robert Andrews, Senate Members, Bob Menendez