Watchdog FACT Files Ethics Complaint against Presidential Candidate, Senator Michael Bennet
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
FACT says Colorado Senator Used Capitol Building to
Improperly Solicit Campaign Cash
The non-partisan ethics watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint today with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics against Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), for illegally soliciting campaign donations during an interview from the U.S. Capitol building.
On May 14, 2019, Senator Bennet participated in an interview from the Capitol building with MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson regarding his presidential campaign. During the exchange, Senator Bennet solicited campaign contributions asking viewers to “go to Michael Bennet dot com and give me a dollar or so to help us hit it. . .” The full interview can be viewed here.
Federal law and Senate ethics rules both clearly prohibit senators from using official resources for any campaign activity, specifically outlawing the solicitation of campaign contributions. Official resources include Senate space, specifically “any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties.”
These laws are explicitly in place to protect taxpayer funded government property from being misused. The rules also keep public office holders from gaining an unfair advantage over other candidates by using their official position to raise money.
“By improperly soliciting campaign donations from an official building, Senator Bennet has violated one of the most basic and straightforward legal standards we have for our elected officials,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. “This is a serious violation as Senators are prohibited from using taxpayer funded resources for their personal political campaigns. The Senate Select Committee on Ethics must act to ensure Senate resources are not being exploited for political gain.”
A copy of the full complaint can be read here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/.