Watchdog calls for investigation of Schrader for breaching ethics rules

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a nonpartisan ethics watchdog, filed a complaint Friday with the Congressional Office of Ethics (OCE) seeking an investigation of Rep. Kurt Schrader (D- OR) for allegedly violating the House Rules of Ethics which prohibit members from using taxpayer-funded public resources for political purposes.

The complaint filed with the OCE noted that members of Congress, like Schrader, must obey ethics rules, which require a distinct separation between campaigning and official acts:

[A] The member is prohibited from using official resources for any campaign and political purposes. Official resources include anything taxpayer-funded, such as an MP’s official press release, website, and social media accounts. This rule protects taxpayer-funded resources from misuse and theft, and addresses public concern that incumbents misuse public funds to run for office and only take official action for political gain. and not for the good of the country. [Emphasis added.]

The complaint showed that the Rep.’s campaign recently ran a digital ad titled “Veterinarian” that was paid for by Kurt Schrader for Congress.

The ad showed two titles – Bipartisan Schrader bill to strengthen vocational and technical education passes with unanimous support of June 22, 2017, and Schrader introduces bipartisan bill to cut drug costs of January 31, 2019 — that both appeared to come from his official, taxpayer-funded congressional office.

When the ad displayed the headline, Schrader bipartisan bill to strengthen vocational and technical training passes with unanimous support, the complaint stated:

At 0:19, the campaign ad displays the headline of the press release “Bipartisan Schrader Bill to Strengthen Career & Technical Education Passes with Unanimous Support” (quoting the date June 22, 2017). This headline appears to come directly from Schrader’s official Congressional press release posted on his official Congressional website on June 22, 2017:

Screenshot of Rep. Kurt Schrader’s digital ad titled ‘Veterinarian’.

And when the ad showed the title, Schrader introduces bipartisan bill to cut drug costs, the complaint stated:

At 12:14 a.m., the campaign ad displays the headline, “Schrader Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Reduce Drug Costs” (quoting the date Jan. 31, 2019). This headline appears to have been taken from Schrader’s official Congressional press release posted on his official Congressional website on January 31, 2019:

Screenshot of representative Kurt Schrader's digital ad titled "Veterinary."

Screenshot of Rep. Kurt Schrader’s digital ad titled ‘Veterinarian’.

The complaint also noted that “Schrader is required to follow all ethics rules and the House Ethics Manual”, also pointing out that FACT recently filed another complaint with the OCE which requested an investigation. about his stock trading after he allegedly failed to respond adequately. disclose up to tens of thousands of dollars in stock, which would have violated federal law.

Breitbart News reported in February that House Energy and Commerce Committee member Schrader failed to adequately disclose up to $30,000 in Charter Communications, Inc. and AON PLC stock sales within the 45-day deadline. days required by the STOCK Act 2012.

The STOCK Act requires Schrader to submit a periodic transaction report to the Clerk of the House of Representatives within 30 to 45 days of stock transitions over $1,000, made in their name or in the name of their spouse, in order to vet members of Congress and prevent allegations of insider trading.

Schrader’s case is a good example of a congressman whose position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee – which has jurisdiction over “electronic communications and the Internet”, “privacy, cybersecurity and data security” and “consumer protection and product safety” – gives it the potential to influence bills that could impact the share prices of Charter Communications, Inc. and AON PLC .

Interestingly enough, at the time, the congressman’s office refused to answer questions from Business Intern whether his investments in the two companies would pose a conflict of interest with his committee responsibilities.

FACT’s executive director, Kendra Arnold, summed up her ethics complaint as follows: “It is troubling that our members cannot follow even the most basic and simple rules of ethics, and violations repetition of these laws indicates a disregard for them as a whole.”

“The Congressional Ethics Office is responsible for ensuring that each representative fulfills the public trust inherent in the office and conforms to the ethical standards of the House,” Arnold continued. “Therefore, we urge the [OCE] to immediately investigate and put an end to Rep. Schrader’s ongoing ethical violations related to his campaign advertising. »

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.


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