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Ethics Watchdog Calls for Probe of U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

FACT Says VA Congresswoman’s Lack of Military Disclaimers in Ads Violates DOD and House Ethics Rules


Washington, D.C.—November 21, 2019—The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), today, filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against U.S. Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA) for campaigning in violation of Department of Defense regulations and House ethics rules.


The complaint maintains that Representative Luria has improperly issued campaign ads that contain numerous references to the military and her service in the Navy, including multiple military images and photographs of her and other service members in military uniform, while failing to use the appropriate disclaimers.


Members of the House who are retired military members are required to abide by the Department of Defense rules on political activity and campaigning, under which such individuals who campaign for political office cannot use past military service in any manner that would indicate the Department of Defense approves or endorses their candidacy or political positions. If campaign materials reference military service, such references must be accompanied by proper disclaimers.


In addition, House ethics rules state that Members are expected to act in compliance with all laws and regulations applicable to them when acting in an official capacity and campaigning.

According to FACT’s complaint, Luria’s omission of proper disclaimers in her recent campaign advertisements referencing her military service violates both the Department of Defense regulations and House ethics rules regarding political campaigning by retired military members.


“The rules concerning military disclaimers in political candidates’ advertisements are essential to uphold the impartiality of the Department of Defense and all military branches,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). “Considering Congresswoman Luria’s district includes the world’s largest naval base and is among the highest concentration of veterans, it is especially crucial that she be investigated for failing to include the necessary disclaimers pertaining to her military service,” added Arnold.


A full copy of the 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: www.factdc.org.


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The Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust

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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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