Tag Archives: FEC

Shocker, not: Ilham Omar funneled $150,000 to alleged lover’s consulting group

Mynett and Omar

Not holding my breath for any investigation.

From NY Post: Rep. Ilhan Omar paid another $150,000 to Tim Mynett’s political consulting group in the three months after The Post first revealed allegations the pair were romantically involved, records show.

The 37-year-old Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign has funneled $146,712.63 to Mynett’s E Street Group since The Post in August reported allegations she was having an affair with her paid consultant, records show.

The latest payments to Mynett’s group were for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and video production.

When news of the alleged affair broke, Omar had already paid $223,000 through her campaign since 2018 for fundraising consulting, internet advertising, digital communications, and travel expenses to the E Street Group — taking the latest total to $370,000.

But the federal agency charged with probing the campaign finance complaint against Omar is powerless to act because it doesn’t have enough commissioners on the bench to investigate.

“This is something every American should be very concerned about,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen. “We have no election cop on the beat. The Federal Election Commission essentially closed its doors so everyone knows they can pretty much do whatever they want to do and that’s the status of our political system today.

Both Omar and Mynett have denied the allegations in Beth Mynett’s divorce papers that the consultant dumped his wife in April because he was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative.

In October, Omar filed for divorce from her husband Ahmed Hirsi amid the affair allegations — claiming the marriage was “irretrievable.” The split was finalized on Nov. 5.

The congresswoman’s office and the E Street Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Conservative watchdog the National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint against Omar with the Federal Election Commission in the wake of the bombshell report — seeking a probe into whether the Democrat used campaign funds to rendezvous with her alleged lover.

But because the FEC has only three of six commissioner slots filled and needs at least four members to vote on complaints — their hands are tied.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Holman said of the continued payments from Omar to her alleged love interest. “We literally have no election cop on the beat and we’re entering the 2020 election that promises to be the most expensive election in history.”

Read the whole story here.

See also:

Ilhan Omar blames media, political foes for killing her marriage
Drama: In divorce filing woman says her husband cheated on her with Congresscritter Ilhan Omar
Minnesota House race: Democrat Muslim Ilhan Omar is a bigamist who married her brother

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Ruh roh: Tlaib “frantically” asked campaign for personal money; ethics probe announced

From Fox News: The House Ethics Committee on Thursday released a trove of striking internal campaign communications sent in 2018 by Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, in which Tlaib urgently requested money from her congressional campaign to defray personal expenses — and, a government watchdog said, possibly violated federal law in the process.

The document dump was related to the committee’s ongoing ethics probe into Tlaib, which the panel said on Thursday would be “expanded” based on a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

Additionally, the Ethics Committee acknowledged for the first time on Thursday an investigation into Florida Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings concerning a “personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office.”

Texts and emails released by the Ethics Committee show Tlaib frantically contacting members of her staff for financial help.

In one April 2018 email offered as an exhibit by OCE, Tlaib wrote that she was “struggling financially right now” and was “sinking.” She continued: “So I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of $5k.”

In another email, on April 4, 2018, Tlaib wrote: “I am just not going to make it through the campaign without a stipend.”

“With the loss of a second income to lean back on,” she wrote. “I am requesting $2,000 per two weeks but not exceeding $12,000. The cost of living stipend is going towards much needed expenses due to campaigning that includes car maintenance, child care and other necessities. Please let me know if I can proceed.”

In August of that year, Tlaib texted her future chief of staff Ryan Anderson at 6:38 a.m.: “Sorry for the early text but do you think the campaign can still pay me a stipend until the general. Trying to get out of debt.”

“I think we definitely afford to do so. But we need to really clearly define your time and space,” Anderson responded, noting that the arrangement could arouse “concern” among the media.

The OCE also attached scans of checks made out to Tlaib from her campaign, totaling thousands of dollars.

Talib’s lawyers said in August there was no evidence that she violated the law on purpose or otherwise, and insisted there were no bad intentions. They noted that Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations permit campaigns to “pay limited salary to candidates who curtail outside employment to focus on their campaigns” in certain limited conditions that, the lawyers said, were met in this instance.

The attorneys went on to say it was “most irregular” for OCE to call for a probe into a member of Congress based on pre-election activities, and argued that there was no “conscious disregard of any law or regulation.” Tlaib was paid by her campaign after Election Day, the attorneys conceded, but they asserted that the money was for services performed before Election Day.

But Tlaib’s campaign committee, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, allegedly “reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes,” according to a release from OCE that unanimously recommended the Ethics Committee investigate Tlaib.

Read the whole story here.

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Union backing de Blasio 2020 bid scores major City Hall favor

From NY Post: Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the Department of City Planning to study mandatory permitting for all new hotels across the city, an unprecedented move that would give the politically powerful Hotel Trades Council tremendous leverage.

The move comes as de Blasio banks on that union’s support for his quixotic presidential bid, igniting a new round of criticism from good-government groups over pay-to-play behavior from a City Hall badly tarnished by a string of campaign finance scandals.

“At a minimum, it creates the appearance of impropriety and illegality,” said Susan Lerner, the head of good government group Common Cause. “The mayor keeps setting up situations that beg for a pay-to-play interpretation.”

Despite the appearances, de Blasio denied any impropriety. “That’s just inaccurate in every way,” he told NY1’s Errol Louis Monday night.

Special permitting would require any developer seeking to build a new hotel to go through an exhaustive review process, including community board recommendations and City Council approval, before they could start construction, even if the land is already zoned for commercial and hotel uses.

Only hotels opened in recently rezoned neighborhoods like Midtown East or in manufacturing areas are currently covered by such a requirement.

“This is a political decision by the mayor, not a land-use decision,” said Kenneth Fischer, a former Brooklyn councilman and land-use expert.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s a quid pro quo,” he added. “[De Blasio] believes that union membership for hotel workers is a path to the middle class and their political and ideological interests line up on this issue.”

City Planning officials confirmed Monday that the administration requested the study based on conversations that began around April — just a month before de Blasio launched his flailing presidential campaign. They added there is no firm deadline for the study to be finished.

Crain’s New York Business first reported the news.

De Blasio narrowly avoided state and federal indictment in 2017 for trading favors with donors to a nonprofit controlled by his allies, the Campaign for One New York.

And campaign finance watchdogs have filed complaints with the Federal Elections Commission over de Blasio’s use of loosely regulated political groups to help pay for his White House run.

“He keeps taking the wrong lessons from these reprimands – that he can get away with things, rather than stop doing them,” Lerner added. “It’s deeply upsetting and completely objectionable.”

City Hall offered a different spin on the turn of events. “This is not new — it’s been in discussion for years,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Jane Meyer. “There’s nothing more to it.”

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Participants in fun run organized by AOC unaware their registration fee was going toward her campaign

A fool and his money…

From Daily Mail: Runners who took part in an event organised by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t know they were donating to her campaign.

The New York Democrat, 29, held a 5k run in Queens on Saturday that she described as ‘a Family Fun Run supporting U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.’

But many of the 400 runners didn’t realize their $30 registration fees were going directly into the lawmaker’s campaign funds, the New York Post reported.

‘We’re getting together for our own health, for our planet’s health … and to fight for the Green New Deal together,’ the freshman Democrat told the participants before they set off.

Supporters jogged through Astoria Park alongside a AOC, who walked the route and believed their money was going to help save the planet. ‘It’s going to help raise awareness and educate people,’ a female runner told The Post. ‘I think it’s really for this particular New Green Deal,’ said Brian Schwartz of Long Island. ‘No question.’

Another woman claimed: ‘It’s to help the environment. To support the Green New Deal. It’s a good cause.’

A notice on AOC’s Facebook page claiming that the run would support ‘U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & the Green New Deal’ added to the confusion.

However full disclosure was made in the fine print, which participants may have been unaware of. ‘Registration fees are contributions to AOC for Congress,’ reads the legal disclosure on aoc5k.com, which lists the Federal Election Commission rules that donors must follow.

‘It was a campaign fundraiser,’ Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent confirmed that the event was in fact a campaign fundraiser.

198 runners came from the Bronx and from Queens neighborhoods within the 14th congressional district at Saturday’s run. The remaining 200 came from other areas. Children as young as three took part with a $20 fee to join the kids 1k. It is understood participants paid $11,000 in total.

Some participants felt told the New York Post they were felt they were taken in by the misleading advertising. ‘The site says it’s to benefit her environmental plan,’ said one supporter who would not give his name. ‘If it is going to go directly to her campaign they should have said so.’

Read the whole story here.

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