Jul 24, 2013
Ethics Questions Piling Up for David Valadao About Whether He Abused Power
With a major nonpartisan watchdog group calling for a Congressional ethics investigation into David Valadao, the Congressman needs to answer serious questions about whether he abused his position on the House Appropriations Committee for personal financial interest. Given the serious issues raised by his behavior, Congressman Valadao owes his constituents straightforward answers for his actions.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Valadao introduced an amendment to a House appropriations bill to block construction of individual rail segments in California and persuaded his Republican colleagues to support the measure. Congressman Valadao and his family have a financial stake in the measure, which would shelter his Hanford-area property.
Here are just a few of the questions that people in the Central Valley have a right to get an answer to:
1) When did Congressman Valadao tell his colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee about his financial stake in his legislation? If he kept it secret, why?
2) According to the Fresno Bee, Congressman Valadao’s staff indicated that he did seek advice from the Ethics Committee. What did he ask the Committee, what did he disclose, and what was their response?
3) In what other situations has Congressman Valadao sought out the House Ethics Committee advice and what was the potential conflict of interest in those situations?
4) Congressman Valadao also recently voted for the farm bill, even though he and his family have received over $1 million in federal subsidies. Isn’t this another conflict of interest to vote for a bill that financially benefits Congressman Valadao and his family?
5) Will Congressman Valadao make a promise to Valley voters that he will no longer vote on bills where he or his family has a financial incentive?
CREW: Valadao “Abused His Position on the House Committee on Appropriations to Benefit His Family and His Family’s Financial Interest.” “A Washington watchdog organization wants the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Hanford Republican David Valadao over his moves to oppose California's high-speed rail project. […] ‘By using his position to introduce an amendment benefitting his and his family members' personal financial interest, by advocating for the amendment in an effort to persuade his colleagues to support it, and by voting for the adoption of the amendment. Rep. Valadao appears to have attempted to provide a financial benefit to himself and his family members in violation of House conflict of interest rules,’ CREW’s letter stated. CREW further wrote that Valadao ‘abused his position on the House Committee on Appropriations to benefit his and his family’s financial interest.’” [Fresno Bee, 7/23/13]
- Headline: Ethics probe sought over lawmaker's high-speed rail opposition [Los Angeles Times, 7/23/13]
Valadao’s Family Farms Have Received Over $1 Million in Farm Subsidies. Since 2001, Valadao’s family farms Valadao Dairy and Triple V Dairy received $1,079,750 in farm subsidies. Since Valadao has been part owner of the farms, he and his family received $866,383 in farm subsidies. [EWG.org Valadao Dairy Old, accessed 7/16/13, Valadao Dairy, accessed 7/16/13, Triple V Dairy, accessed 7/16/13]