CREW Releases Report Revealing Rep. Clay Abused His Position to Benefit Family Members
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. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-MO), the St. Louis congressman’s PAC and campaign committee funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Law Office of Michelle C. Clay, run by the congressman’s sister, over the 2008 and 2010 election cycles. Rep. Clay’s campaign committee also gave thousands of dollars to a scholarship fund founded by his father, where the congressman also serves as director. While Rep. Clay’s behavior is egregious, he is not alone. In all, CREW found a shocking 248 House members used their positions to financially benefit themselves or family members.
“Rep. Clay has turned running for Congress into a cottage industry, allowing family members to live off the generosity of his donors,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Conduct like this reinforces the widely held view that members of Congress are more interested in enriching themselves and their family members than in public service.”
Over the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, Rep. Clay’s campaign committee and PAC paid the Law Office of Michelle C. Clay more than a quarter of a million dollars in fees, the majority of which were classified as fundraising expenses. In addition, Rep. Clay’s campaign committee gave $11,290 to the William L. Clay Scholarship and Research Fund, which is run by the congressman’s father – a former congressman and now a registered lobbyist.
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.