Campaign 2010

Jun 06, 2013

Dept. of Dirty Endorsements, Continued: Davis Releases Endorsement From Schock, who is Under Federal

All the key players involved in a bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics report have closed ranks and endorsed Congressman Rodney Davis. The Davis campaign just released their latest endorsement list, which now includes Congressman Aaron Schock, who is subject of a House Ethics investigation into allegedly raising campaign cash illegally.

Media reports yesterday indicated that Congressman Adam Kinzinger also endorsed Davis. Kinzinger benefited in his primary last year from money raised by Congressman Schock and Davis that exceeded campaign finance limits, according to the bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics – which recommended that House Ethics subpoena Congressman Davis for not cooperating with their investigation. Now Davis is touting the endorsements of Congressman Schock and Congressman Eric Cantor – who are also referenced in the episode.

“Congressman Davis made the decision just a few months ago not to cooperate with a federal investigation, and now he’s getting rewarded with endorsements from people who he protected by remaining silent,” said Brandon Lorenz of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Illinois families deserve better than someone like Congressman Davis who is still playing political operator – trading favors for endorsements to save his job in Washington.”

BACKGROUND

Davis Campaign Issued a List of Endorsements that Feature Cantor, Schock and Kinzinger. In 2013, Davis published a list of endorsements on his website featuring endorsements from Congressmen Aaron Schock, Adam Kinzinger, and Eric Cantor. [Electrodney.com, accessed 6/06/2013]

  • Headline: Ethics panel investigating Rep. Aaron Schock [Chicago Tribune, 12/15/12]

Chicago Tribune: OCE Investigation Came as Schock Decided Not to Run for Governor. The Chicago Tribune reported,In February, congressional investigators recommended a full House Ethics Committee probe into a $25,000 contribution Schock solicited from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's political action committee to a super PAC that backed Rep. Adam Kinzinger over fellow Republican Rep. Donald Manzullo in the March 2012 primary. Under a Federal Election Commission advisory opinion, lawmakers and candidates can solicit donations of up to $5,000 for independent-expenditure PACs. Schock has denied any wrongdoing, and Shearer said the issue had nothing to do with the congressman's decision.” [Chicago Tribune, 4/26/13]

Davis Campaign Issued Statement of Support from Adam Kinzinger. In 2013, Davis’s campaign issued a statement of support from Congressman Kinzinger. Kinzinger said “After just 150 days in Congress, Rodney has been true to his word — voting to rein in excessive spending and working tirelessly to put Americans back to work. Rodney is a terrific public servant, and the families of the 13th district know they can count on him to be their voice in Washington.”   [News-Gazette, 6/5/13]

Congressman Aaron Schock Alleged to Have Illegally Solicited Donations for a Republican Super PAC. According to Politico: “The allegations against Schock stemmed from a bitter GOP primary battle in Illinois last year between Rep. Adam Kinzinger and former Rep. Don Mazullo. Schock backed Kinzinger in the primary, and he began asking other members like Cantor for campaign contributions in order to run TV ads supporting Kinzinger. The money, including a $25,000 donation from Cantor’s leadership fund, was funneled to a super PAC called the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which spent more than $200,000 on the race on Kinzinger’s behalf.” [Politico, 2/06/13]

  • Office of Congressional Ethics: Reason to Believe Schock Violated Federal Law. According to the Office of Congressional Ethics, Schock may have solicited contributions for the Republican super-PAC, Campaign for Primary Accountability, in excess of $5,000 per donor, while raising money for Representative Adam Kinzinger. The Office of Congressional Ethics contended “there is substantial reason to believe that Representative Schock violated federal law, House rules and standards of conduct.” [News Gazette, 2/8/11]
  • Cantor Pledged Zero-Tolerance on Ethics Violations. “I think that as Republicans emerge as a new governing majority, it is incumbent upon us to institute a zero-tolerance policy — that we understand there are reasons for our being fired in ‘06 and ’08. […] We cannot tolerate any ethics violations or behavior in terms of compromising the ethics that the people expect us to have as their representatives.” [YouTube, uploaded 8/10/10]

Office of Congressional Ethics Recommended That Rodney Davis be Subpoenaed For Failure to Cooperate in Schock Ethics Investigation. The Office of Congressional Ethics recommended in its report to the House Ethics Committee that Davis be subpoenaed in its investigation, since Davis has refused to cooperate with the probe. The OCE does not have subpoena power. [News Gazette, 2/8/11]

  • OCE Concluded That “There is Substantial Reason to Believe That the Alleged Violation Occurred” Because of Davis’ Refusal to Cooperate. The Office of Congressional Ethics report said that “the OCE draws a negative inference from Mr. Davis’ refusal to cooperate with the OCE. The OCE infers that the information Mr. Davis refused to provide, taken together with the factual findings in this referral, supports the conclusion that there is substantial reason to believe that the alleged violation occurred.” [News Gazette, 2/8/11]

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