A Tea Party group thinks Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have broken the rules with his aggressive attack on the Koch brothers.
On Monday, Tea Party Patriots filed a complaint against Reid for allegedly violating Senate rules by using official government channels to promote partisan attacks on billionaire conservative megadonors, Charles and David Koch.
The seven-part complaint, which was sent to the Senate’s Select Committee on Ethics, cites attacks on the Kochs from the Senate floor and his government website, among other accusations. Reid’s actions, the complaint says, “is a blatant example of a powerful Washington figure deciding that it is his prerogative to bring the full weight of his office against private citizens or organisations with whom he disagrees.”
Jenny Beth Martin, a Tea Party Patriots cofounder, told Business Insider the complaint was inspired by the federal government’s persecution of conservatives. Her group also filed a complaint Monday against Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for allegedly pushing the federal government to investigate conservative nonprofits.
“After having been targeted by the IRS for several years and seeing the truly chilling effects the IRS has had on speech and the first amendment, we’re seeing the same thing happen with Senator Reid and Senator Whitehouse,” Beth Martin claimed. She said this week’s Senate hearing on political speech — where both Reid and his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will reportedly testify — was also a factor.
Some of the complaint’s criticism of Reid mirrors that of a past GOP complaint, filed by the the Republican Party of Louisiana in April. Reid’s office, which did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment, dismissed the Louisiana complaint at the time.
“Republicans’ blind obedience to the shadowy billionaire Koch brothers is on full display today,” Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement then. “Nothing says ‘Republicans are the party of the top one per cent’ like lashing out with meritless complaints as a screen to defend the Koch brothers as they rig the system to benefit billionaires like themselves. Sen. Reid will continue to do everything in his power to hold the Koch brothers and their Republican enablers accountable for trying to tilt the playing field in favour of the wealthy and against the middle class.”
View the Tea Party Patriot’s Reid complaint below:
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