Legal Filings

Legal Filings
Nov 08, 2012

CREW Files Ethics Complaint Against Rep. Issa for Improper Use of House Resources

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)Washington, D.C. Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) alleging Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) violated House rules by using official government resources for political purposes. 

On November 2nd, Rep. Issa posted a video on the official website of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, purportedly exposing wasteful government spending on official state dinners.  The video, however, appears to be nothing more than a political ad attacking President Obama.

Read CREW's complaint against Rep. Issa

“American taxpayers have a right to assume that their money is being spent on the people’s business, not on unlawful political activities,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.  “Just as Rep. Issa insists other federal government employees be held accountable for misusing scarce taxpayer resources, he too should suffer the consequences of misappropriating public money.”

Rep. Issa’s video, entitled “Obama State Dinners: Spend Like He Says, Not Like He Does,” juxtaposes the high costs of state dinners with President Obama’s disapproving comments about the General Services Administration’s lavish spending on a 2010 conference in Las Vegas.  The video, however, does not consider why the dinners are expensive, and provides no information regarding the costs of other administrations’ state dinners. 

It appears the only purpose of the video — released just days before a hotly contested presidential election — is to elicit outrage against the president for holding state dinners at a time when Americans are facing fiscal difficulties.  Rep. Issa’s actions violate U.S. law and House rules prohibiting the improper use of official resources. 

Additionally, posting a blatantly political video on the House Oversight Committee’s website violates House rules that prohibit committees from using their websites for political purposes.

“The video Rep. Issa posted on the committee’s website does nothing to advance the work or mission of the House Oversight Committee, and it’s ironic that the congressman violated the prohibition on misusing official resources to falsely complain about the president’s alleged misuse of resources,” continued Ms. Sloan.  “Rep. Issa is free to take cheap potshots at the president, but he can’t use House resources to do it."

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