Washington, D.C.— July 11th, 2023— On Monday, July 11th, 2023, the non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigate Representative Eric Sorensen of Illinois to see if he has abused official resources for political purposes.
On his campaign Twitter account, Sorensen has posted numerous times using official government resources including videos from the House floor and from his House office, photos taken in capitol buildings, and official press releases from his government website. Additionally, the biography section of Sorensen’s campaign Twitter account links directly to his official Congressional Twitter account and he advertises his official social media accounts on his campaign accounts. These actions are a clear violation of House Ethics rules.
Federal law and House ethics rules require strict separation between campaign and official acts. Rep. Sorensen’s use of Twitter and the content posted on his campaign account appear to be clear violations of this rule. The use of the account itself is an abuse of government resources because both official and political content appear, and the use of official photos taken and videos recorded in the House for political purposes is another violation of the ethics rules.
“The legal violations related to Rep. Sorensen’s case are obvious and nothing can excuse them. These resources are not given to Members to campaign for their own personal benefit, and it is concerning anytime tax-payer funded resources are abused. The House ethics rules are in place to protect time, resources, and the integrity of elected officials. The House ethics manual specifically addresses this type of behavior and the negative effect it has in furthering the public perception that Members are using their office for personal political gain. Thus, we encourage the OCE to act swiftly," said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint 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/