FACT Calls for Second Investigation of Joe Manchin
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Ethics Watchdog Calls for Second Investigation of Joe Manchin FACT Says West Virginia Senator Improperly Used Taxpayer Funds for Political Purposes
(Washington, D.C.) – June 29, 2018 – The non-partisan ethics watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint today with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics against U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for using tax payer funds to travel from Los Angeles after attending a campaign fundraiser last August, a clear violation of federal law and Senate Ethics rules.
According to FACT’s complaint, Senator Manchin, after attending a campaign fundraiser hosted at the Los Angeles headquarters of the Capital Group, flew from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh on August 9, 2017. The Secretary of the Senate’s report of Senate expenditures verifies that Manchin paid for this campaign travel using official resources.
Both Federal law and Senate Ethics clearly prohibit Senators from using official resources for political purposes, including travel. In fact, the Senate Ethics website makes it clear that, “Senate resources may only be used for official purposes. The General Appropriations statute, 31 U.S.C § 1301, provides that official funds are to be used only for the purposes for which they were appropriated.” Furthermore, the law explicitly states, “No official resources may be used to conduct campaign activities.”
According to press reports, Manchin’s campaign has repeatedly failed to point to any official business that was conducted in California. However, at this Los Angeles fundraiser alone, Manchin solicited and accepted $62,100 worth of campaign contributions. During that fundraising quarter, Manchin raised nearly $100,000 from the Capital Group.
“Senator Manchin is no stranger to ethics woes as he continues to blatantly violate clear cut rules to enrich both himself and his campaign at the expense of West Virginia citizens,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. “I hope that the Ethics Committee acts swiftly on this clear-cut case so that Manchin is held accountable and a message is sent to all Members of Congress that there will be consequences for abusing their office by misusing taxpayer funds.”
In 2005, Manchin had to refund the state of West Virginia over $5,000 when it was reported that he traveled using taxpayer funds to pick up a purchased yacht from Alabama. Also, this is not FACT’s first complaint against Manchin. In February, FACT filed a complaintagainst Senator Manchin for failing to comply with all applicable personal financial disclosure laws and for filing inaccurate financial reports with respect to his ownership interest in AA Properties, LLC, a West Virginia limited liability company.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/.