FACT Calls for Investigation into Rep. Elissa Slotkin
Rep. Slotkin Apparently Violated Several House Ethics Rules and Federal Laws
Washington, D.C.— June 9, 2022— Today, the non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigate Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin of Michigan for using official taxpayer-funded resources for campaign purposes, making campaign solicitations while in a House office, and a campaign contribution violation.
Federal law and House Ethics rules require strict separation between campaign and official acts: A Member is clearly prohibited from using official resources for campaign or political purposes. “Official resources” are anything paid for by taxpayer funds, including congressional buildings, office equipment, and staff time. Additionally, federal law specifically prohibits Members from participating in campaign meetings and soliciting campaign contributions while located in a congressional building.
On May 11, 2022, Rep. Slotkin attended a virtual meeting with the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) from what appeared to be her congressional office, and during the meeting proceeded to discuss campaign strategy and to solicit campaign contributions. The JDCA is an independent expenditure filer with the Federal Election Commission and has a super PAC, both of which have supported Slotkin in the past.
In the course of the meeting the topic turned to campaign strategy, during which Rep. Slotkin discussed the specific voter turnout she needed to win reelection and identified her "ask": both cash campaign contributions (“which of course I always love”) and an in-kind contribution of specific paid voter registration of Michigan State University students (“paying students to register their fellow students”). The video of this exchange shows that her congressional staffer (who introduced himself with his government title) was seated next to her and they appeared to be in her congressional office. The use of the congressional building and staff time, along with the political activity and campaign solicitation from a congressional building are clear violations.
“The House ethics rules make it clear that using government resources for campaign purposes and soliciting any type of campaign contribution from House buildings are very serious offenses. This is the case because it implicates a foundational principle that Members cannot use government resources for their political gain. The exchange that occurred in this case involved Representative Slotkin plainly discussing her campaign and asking for what she felt was needed to win her race. After watching this video there is simply no scenario where this is related to official House business and not campaign related. Thus, we urge the Board to immediately investigate Rep. Slotkin for using official resources for campaign purposes, soliciting campaign contributions from Congressional buildings, and for violating federal campaign finance laws,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
You can watch the video here.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/