CLC, D21 Complaint: Tom Price Violated Law By Using Campaign Funds to Secure HHS Confirmation

Jul 7, 2017
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WASHINGTON – Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 filed a complaint today with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging Tom Price violated federal law by illegally using congressional campaign funds to support his confirmation as President Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary, in violation of the prohibition on using campaign funds for personal use.

“Federal law is clear that congressional campaign funds are to be used to support a run for Congress or one’s duties as a Member of Congress—not so you can land a job after Congress,” said Brendan Fischer, director of CLC’s federal and FEC reform program. “The corrupting potential of campaign contributions is amplified if officeholders can use the funds for their own personal benefit.”

In January, as Price’s nomination to lead HHS was pending before the U.S. Senate, his campaign committee, Price for Congress, paid $40,000 to America Rising, a self-described “opposition research and communications organization,” which then promoted research and videos promoting Price’s confirmation. America Rising also promoted the confirmation of other Trump cabinet nominees, but only Price paid the group with campaign funds.

“The FEC should investigate whether Secretary Price improperly used campaign funds for personal benefit by transferring funds to a group that advocated for his confirmation as Secretary,” said Donald Simon, counsel to Democracy 21. “Price’s use of his campaign funds appears to have violated the law prohibiting the personal use of campaign funds, and the FEC should take appropriate action.”

Several prominent Members of Congress have been convicted for personal use violations in recent years, including Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), and Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-ID).

Read the complaint

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