Campaign 2010

Apr 18, 2013

NRCC Pulls Plug on Sanford…Who’s Next?

Yesterday, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced it was “pulling the plug on Mark Sanford’s suddenly besieged congressional campaign” after “news that Sanford’s ex-wife has accused him of trespassing” according to Politico. If the NRCC is now pulling its support for Republicans in Republican-held seats because of scandals and baggage, which one of these scandal-plagued Republicans is next?

“The NRCC has set a new standard for themselves – they pull their support for Republicans in Republican seats because of scandals and controversy surrounding them,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Lots of other House Republicans have to be worried that they’re next on the NRCC’s black list as scandals and controversies mount against them, too. Time and again Republican primary voters have chosen flawed candidates like Sharon Angle, Todd Akin, Richard Murdock and now Mark Sanford so the NRCC best be ready to walk away from these scandal-plagued Republicans next.”

Mitt Romney won SC-01 by more than 18 points and there are 119 Republicans in Congress holding seats that are more Democratic than this one.

Examples of Scandal-Plagued House Republicans

Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11)


  • ·         FBI Investigating Congressman Michael Grimm’s Campaign Fundraising. “The FBI has questioned at least four people who worked on Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign as part of its ongoing probe into allegations the Tea Party favorite took illegal election donations. […] The four, either campaign operatives and volunteers, were questioned in the past two weeks. In one case, the interview was conducted by a federal tag team that included an Assistant U.S. Attorney, sources told the Daily News. The FBI opened an inquiry into the Republican’s fund-raising after members of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto’s New York congregation complained he was strong-arming them for donations, as the New York Times reported in January.” [NY Daily News, 6/20/12]


  • ·         Federal Grand Jury Also Investigating Grimm’s “Fundraising Shenanigans.” “A federal Brooklyn grand jury is probing alleged fundraising shenanigans in freshman Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 campaign.” [NY Daily News, 7/19/12]


Congressman Vern Buchanan, former NRCC Finance Chairman (FL-16)


  • ·         House Ethics Investigating Congressman Vern Buchanan for Potential Violations of Federal Bribery, Obstruction, and Witness Tampering Laws. “The Office of Congressional Ethics said Wednesday there’s ‘substantial reason to believe’ Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., attempted to influence the testimony of a former business partner who was a witness during an investigation into the congressman’s fundraising. The House Ethics Committee, a separate entity, said it would further review the findings of the Office of Congressional Ethics […]The report asks the Ethics Committee to consider whether Buchanan violated federal bribery, obstruction and witness tampering laws -- all of which have criminal penalties. It also says there's ‘substantial reason to believe’ Buchanan violated House rules of conduct requiring members behave at all times ‘in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.’” [Bradenton Herald, 5/09/12]


  • ·         Congressman Vern Buchanan Was Under Investigation by the FBI, IRS, a Federal Grand Jury, and the Department of Justice. “Federal inquiries surrounding Mr. Buchanan appear to be widening, as investigators examine allegations that his companies improperly reimbursed contributors to his campaigns and claimed improper tax deductions and that he failed to include all his varied financial interests in his Congressional disclosure reports […] agents for the F.B.I. and the Internal Revenue Service recently contacted former employees alleging financial improprieties by Mr. Buchanan, who owns a number of auto dealerships throughout Florida and elsewhere and is one of the richest members of Congress. A federal grand jury in Tampa is hearing evidence in the case as well.” The Bradenton Herald reported, “The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating complaints that U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan broke campaign finance laws — the same allegations for which the Federal Elections Commission has already cleared the congressman after a two-year investigation.” [New York Times, 2/24/12; Bradenton Herald, 10/18/11]


Congressman Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)


  • ·         Congressman Scott DesJarlais Under State Health Department Investigation for Inappropriate Relationships with Patients. “Embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., told a Nashville television station Friday that state Health Department investigators have already spoken to him about complaints that he had sex with at least two patients, one of whom he urged to get an abortion in 2000. DesJarlais acknowledged in the interview with WKRN-TV reporter Chris Bungaard that officials are actively investigating the complaints, one of which was filed during his 2012 campaign by the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The other was filed by the Tennessee Democratic Party.”  [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 1/05/13]


Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13)


  • ·         Congressman Davis Involved in Investigation of Potentially Illegal Campaign Fundraising by Congressman Schock. In 2013, after being less than a month in Congress, Davis was questioned in an ongoing investigation by the bipartisan Office of Congressional Ethics of possible illegal campaign fundraising by Congressman Aaron Schock. [News Gazette2/8/11]


  • ·         OCE Recommended Davis be Subpoenaed by House Ethics After Refusing to Cooperate. The Office of Congressional Ethics said that Davis refused to cooperate with its investigation into the allegations of the illegal fundraising. It also recommended in its report to the House Ethics Committee that Davis be subpoenaed in its investigation since Davis refused to cooperate with the probe.  [News Gazette2/8/11]


Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06)


  • ·         Ethics Investigators Examining Improper Bachmann Campaign Spending. Congressional ethics investigators are examining whether top staffers in Rep. Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign played an improper role in the 2011 tour to promote her personal memoir, two former Bachmann aides have told the Star Tribune. [Star Tribune, 4/17/13]


Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06)


  • ·         Congressman Barr was Lead Lawyer for Department Called “Corrupt Political Machine.” As a top aide to corrupt former Governor Ernie Fletcher, Barr stood with corruption. Barr was the lead lawyer for the department that was called “a corrupt political machine” by prosecutors. His office was searched by police in the criminal probe, and Barr refused to release documents related to the scandal. [Herald Leader, 9/16/10]


  • ·         Barr Caught Lying by Police in Florida. Andy Barr was caught lying by police and ended up being arrested in Florida, where he was convicted and sentenced for his crime. Then he applied for a government job and lied about his criminal record. [Herald Leader, 10/05/10]