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Ethics Watchdog Calls for Probe of Joe Manchin for Failing to Report $700K ‘Almost Heaven’ Yacht

Updated: Mar 19, 2019



FACT Says Boat is Registered to For-Profit Company

Owned by West Virginia Senator and His Wife

(Washington, D.C.) – October 11, 2018 –The non-partisan ethics watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), has asked the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to investigate U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for violating Senate Ethics rules pertaining to financial disclosures. According to the complaint, Manchin and his wife, Gayle, have failed to report their ownership in Country Roads Marine LLC, a for-profit company that lists as one of its assets a $700,000 yacht that the Senator lives on while at work.

When he is in Washington, D.C. Senator Manchin lives on a boat docked on the Potomac River called “Almost Heaven.” Manchin bought the boat in 2013 and it is worth $700,000. The boat is listed as an asset of a for-profit company called Country Roads Marine, LLC of which Senator Manchin and his wife, Gayle Manchin, are listed as its only owners. The complaint maintains that since 2013 Manchin has failed to report his ownership of Country Roads Marine, which is a serious violation of Senate Ethics Rules.

The complaint notes the following from the Senate Ethics Manual:

“Senate Ethics Rules and Federal law require that Senators ‘must indicate outside compensation, holdings, transactions, liabilities, positions held and gifts received on their Financial Disclosure Reports.’The Senate Ethics Manual further clarifies that Senators must disclose ‘[a]ny property held by the filer, his/her spouse, and/or dependent children for investment or the production of income’ if their interest in the property is ‘worth more than $1,000 at the close of the reporting period or the property generated income of more than $200 during the reporting period.’”

“Senator Manchin has a history of being evasive when it comes to his financial dealings and interests, which only raises more serious and troubling questions about what he is hiding, and how much, from the government and more importantly, the citizens of West Virginia,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).

This is FACT’s second ethics complaint against Senator Manchin for violating rules regarding financial disclosure. In February, FACT asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate 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. Additionally, back in June, FACT asked the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to investigate Manchin for using tax payer funds to travel from Los Angeles after attending a campaign fundraiser last August.

“The rules regarding financial disclosure are clear and straightforward and Senator Manchin’s continued attempts to thwart these requirements is not only reckless and irresponsible but sadly serves to erode the public’s trust in our elected officials and system of government.”

A link to this full complaint can be found here.

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/.

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The Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust

1717 K Street NW - Suite 900 - Washington D.C. - 20006

(202) 787-5860

The Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas by hanging a lantern over public officials who put their own interests over the interests of the public good. 

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