CREW Releases Report Revealing Rep. Hanabusa Loans Her Own Campaign Money at High Interest Rates
Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its new report, Family Affair, detailing how members of the House of Representatives use their positions to financially benefit their families. In the case of Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), the Aloha State congresswoman collected significant amounts of money in interest from personal loans she made to her campaign. In addition, her campaign reimbursed her husband thousands of dollars in expenses. While Rep. Hanabusa’s behavior is egregious, she is not alone. In all, CREW found a shocking 248 House members used their positions to financially benefit themselves or family members.
“With the interest rates Rep. Hanabusa is charging for loaning her own campaign money, she could be confused for a loan shark,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Most Americans open a savings account when they want to earn a little interest on their money. Instead, Rep. Hanabusa is making a killing by investing in her own campaign.”
Campaign records show Rep. Hanabusa made two loans to her campaign committee, totaling $125,000, in 2006. Since then, she has charged more than 9% interest on these loans, resulting in over $30,000 in interest payments. At the end of the 2010 election cycle, less than $3,000 of the principal on these loans had been repaid. Additionally, campaign records show that Rep. Hanabusa’s campaign committee reimbursed her husband, John Souza, almost $9,000 for food and other expenses during the 2010 cycle.
CREW is partnering with LegiStorm to make the data in this report more widely available in a searchable form at LegiStorm.com.
Family Affair is a follow-up to CREW’s 2007 Family Affair – House report, which looked at how representatives used their positions to benefit family members over the 2002, 2004, and 2006 election cycles. The new report focuses on the 2008 and 2010 cycles. Click to read the 2007 report or the 2008 Family Affair – Senate report.