Washington, D.C. — Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and three political committees he controls for multiple violations of federal election law related to flights he accepted on private planes. Rep. Schock illegally used campaign funds to pay for flights on non-commercial, non-charter flights. Rep. Schock also reportedly accepted free flights from a company managed by the brother of a campaign contributor, without disclosing them as in-kind contributions.
Rep. Schock’s campaign committees and leadership PAC paid more than $8,700 to Lobair, LLC between 2012 and 2014. Rep. Schock’s PAC also paid more than $3,300 to D & B Jet, Inc. in 2012. The president of D & B Jet is Darren Frye, who along with his wife is a major contributor to Rep. Schock’s campaign. Neither Lobair nor D & B Jet is an air carrier or commercial operator certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and none of Rep. Schock’s flights appear to have been chartered. Federal law prohibits candidates from spending campaign or PAC money on non-commercial, non-charter flights, and bans candidates from taking those flights for political purposes.
Additionally, the Associated Press reported Rep. Schock took flights on planes owned by the company TC Investment 3, LLC. The owner of TC Investment 3, Todd Green, is the brother of one of Rep. Schock’s campaign contributors. Rep. Schock appears to have flown on planes owned by TC Investment 3 to at least eight cities in 2014 while campaigning for Republican candidates, according to the AP. Rep. Schock’s campaign did not report paying TC Investment for the flights, or disclose them as in-kind contributions.
“It should be abundantly clear by now that an ‘internal review’ is totally inadequate to clean up Rep. Schock’s finances,” said CREW Interim Executive Director Anne Weismann. “While the congressman may be worried about damage control, his constituents deserve a full investigation of his misconduct and illegal activity.”
CREW’s FEC complaint comes one day after the group asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Rep. Schock’s flights on non-commercial, non-charter flights violated House rules. That complaint was the third CREW has filed with the OCE against Rep. Schock this month, following two complaints alleging Rep. Schock broke House gift rules.
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