- Progressive watchdog group End Citizens United filed 2 ethics complaints against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
- She’s accused of “unethical and illegal” spending by her “Save American Stop Socialism” leadership PAC.
- One complaint was filed with the House’s ethics body, which has already fined her 3 times for not wearing a mask.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is facing accusations of “unethical and illegal” campaign spending and “self-serving and shady practices,” according to 2 new ethics complaints filed by the progressive watchdog group End Citizens United last week.
The group filed a complaint with both the Federal Election Commission and the Office of Congressional Ethics, both of which focus on a recent ad in which the congresswoman urges supporters to call their members of congress and ask them to oppose the $US1 ($AU1) trillion infrastructure bill that passed the Senate by a sweeping, 69-vote bipartisan margin last month.
“Nineteen cowardly Senate Republicans joined Chuck Schumer and the Senate Democrats to pass the so-called infrastructure bill that’s really the first step in Biden’s communization of America,” says Greene in the ad. “It’s time for Republicans to stay united, stand strong, and vote no.”
The group’s FEC complaint alleges that Greene’s “Save America Stop Socialism” leadership PAC made an unreported “in-kind contribution” to her own campaign by running a nearly identical version of the ad on One America News Network, and that the contribution well exceeded the $US5000 ($AU6,669) limit legally permitted.
Many members of congress maintain so-called leadership PACs, which are nominally for the purpose of fundraising for other candidates but have come to be seen as “slush funds” by ethics advocates.
Meanwhile, the complaint with the House’s ethics body says that Rep. Greene “improperly used her campaign and leadership PAC to conduct official House activities” because the ad constitutes a “grassroots lobbying campaign to oppose legislation,” activities that the group says are “fundamentally official in nature.”
Both federal law and House rules prevent members from using campaign funds for official activities.
Greene has already been fined 3 times by the ethics office for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, adding up to $US5,500 ($AU7,336) removed from her official congressional salary.
“Congresswoman Greene has shown a blatant disregard for the law and is engaging in corrupt Washington practices,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller in a Tuesday press release. “Using her leadership PAC in an attempt to get around federal law and regulations is both unethical and illegal. Both the FEC and OCE should immediately begin an investigation and hold her accountable for her self-serving and shady practices.”
Reached for comment, Greene’s office dismissed the allegations.
“This is a frivolous complaint from a partisan political organization masquerading as some kind of watchdog group,” said a spokesman from Rep. Greene’s office. “This is just another tactic straight out of the Democrats’ communist playbook.”
The complaint, if successful, could represent a setback for the far-right Georgia congresswoman. After the House voted to remove her from her committees in February over her apparent endorsement of political violence against Democrats, Greene has largely focused on campaigning and media appearances.
Last week, she got into a shouting match with Rep. Liz Cheney over her “Jewish space lasers” controversy, following a similar incident in September where she got into a shouting match with Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan over abortion.