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Ethics Watchdog Files Ethics Complaint Against Multiple House Members for Misusing Social Media Accounts

Several House Members continue to abuse official resources for political purposes in violation of House rules  

  

Washington, D.C. --- January 23, 2024 --- Yesterday, the non-partisan ethics watchdog the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigate the following House Members for repeatedly using official House resources for political purposes: Nancy Pelosi of California, Cori Bush of Missouri, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Sean Casten of Illinois, Greg Casar of Texas, Maxwell Alejandro Frost of Florida, Ted Lieu of California, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ritchie Torres of New York. 

 

The law at issue is simple: Members are prohibited from using government resources for campaign or political purposes. An "official resource" is anything funded by taxpayers, including official House photographs and video, government buildings, a Member's official website and social media accounts, and anything created by government employees. The rules additionally reiterate that campaign social media accounts cannot contain any official content or resources and cannot re-post official social media posts.

 

Despite these rules, House Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Sean Casten, Greg Casar, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Ted Lieu, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ritchie Torres have posted numerous tweets using official government resources or have re-posted official government content -- including official photographs, video, work product, and official social media posts. The many campaign social media posts abusing official resources are too numerous to include in the complaint, however 91 pages of examples from just a single social media platform are available to view and are attached HERE

 

The OCE's failure to do its part to enforce the law is leading to additional violations from Members who should be well aware of the rules. For example, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently on January 6, 2024, used video from the House floor on her campaign account.

  

“This is not an isolated incident. These violations are rampant and obvious, and clearly the OCE’s failure to act has encouraged continued violations. This failure has also incentivized these Members to use House proceedings for political campaigning rather than doing what is in the best interest of the country. Likewise, it is also clear why these Members are doing this, it's for a political advantage and one that is paid for by the taxpayers. The OCE has both the authority and a clear responsibility to ensure each ethics violation is dealt with swiftly. Not doing so both permits clear violations to continue and erodes the public’s trust in the OCE itself,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.  

 

A full copy of the complaint can be found HERE 

  

A full copy of the attachment with all the examples of repeated violations can be found HERE 

  

FACT is a nonprofit organization promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org  

  

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