Rep. Casten continues to abuse official resources for political purposes in violation of House rules
Washington, D.C. --- August 18, 2023 --- Yesterday, the non-partisan ethics watchdog the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a supplemental complaint providing additional evidence to an ethics complaint filed against Rep. Sean Casten on July 14, 2023, for abusing official resources for political purposes. Rep. Casten made numerous tweets on his campaign social media accounts that used official resources and re-posted official government content including House floor video and official press releases.
As discussed in the initial complaint, federal law is straightforward and states that a Member cannot use any official resources for political purposes. The law applies in all circumstances and is repeated throughout the ethics manual in numerous factual scenarios, including the prohibition against using any official content (such as photographs taken in official buildings) on campaign social media accounts. Moreover, the house ethics manual states that a Member’s campaign social media account “may not share, like, retweet, etc., a post from an official social media account.”
Since the initial complaint was filed, Rep. Casten has continued to regularly use official government resources for political purposes despite the fact he and his office should be well aware of the law. In this case, Rep. Casten is faced with an existing ethics complaint and has simply disregarded it and the law--which speaks volumes on his approach to being an elected official.
“Rep. Casten’s continued violations demonstrate willful intent and are quite telling. He is not only responsible for understanding the law, but also for ensuring that both he and his staff abide by it. The law violated here is one of the most basic, common sense ethics rules, which is covered plainly in the House Ethics manual. Yet even after an ethics complaint was filed and he cannot legitimately claim ignorance of this law, he continues to repeatedly violate it. At this point his behavior is clearly further eroding trust in government officials, he is reflecting poorly on the House as a whole, and he is ironically strengthening the argument for an investigation into himself. His constituents have to ask themselves – if Rep. Casten is repeatedly unwilling to follow such a simple, obvious, and public-facing ethics law…then what other actions is he willing to take when there is less visibility?,” 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