Members of the U.S. House of Representatives paid relatives nearly $3.5 million in campaign funds during the past six years, a USA Today report said.Dr. John McGoff's campaign wasted no time pouncing on the issue. He released this press release today. McGoff says:
Among those receiving the most money was a daughter of U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican who represents suburban Indianapolis, according to a report from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington watchdog group.
Danielle Sarkins received $143,900 - which placed her sixth in a list of the top 10 individual family members who received the most campaign funds from members of Congress from 2001-06, according to the watchdog group.The Federal Election Commission has ruled that such payments are not illegal as long as family members are paid fair market value.
But the payments can create the appearance that members of Congress are using their positions “as a profit center for the family,” Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who heads the watchdog group, told USA Today."
A member of Congress would not be allowed to put that family member on their office payroll," she said. "The logic should be the same. If they can't put them on the official payroll, why should they put them on the campaign payroll?"
“Once again, we’re hearing another story about Dan Burton, which should cause voters to raise their eyebrows,” said McGoff. “Paying family members with campaign contributions may be legal, but it gives the outward appearance of abusing the system. It certainly brings up a lot of ethical questions.”I'm glad I could be of service to the McGoff campaign. Now, if they would only send me the press release next time so I don't have to fetch it from Taking Down Words. That would seem like the polite thing to do. And to think someone over at his campaign is getting paid for my free work. Life as it is as a blogger.
“It’s no wonder that recent polls show that Congress’ approval rating has sunk to less than 20%,” said McGoff. “Whether it is putting family members on the payroll, missing important committee hearings about injured troops, or skipping a week of votes to play golf with celebrities, Dan Burton just doesn’t instill the type of trust Hoosiers should have in their Congressman.”
Since announcing his candidacy, Dr. McGoff has emphasized the need to restore integrity in Congress.
“This is just another example of why Hoosiers don’t trust their elected officials,” he said.