While Hunter Biden has sent messages talking about sending 10 percent of the money that he earned through influence-peddling to “the Big Guy”, some of the other Democrats looking to make a buck off their political positions had to be a bit more discreet.
And so a scheme was gradually developed by which Democrats like Ilhan Omar and Maxine Waters funneled vast sums of donor dollars to their family members: they’d get the campaign going, have the family member start a political consulting company or some other sort of company that would typically do business with a political campaign, and then start shelling out the big bucks to that family-member owned company.
Maxine Waters, for example, used campaign funds to pay her daughter a whopping $1.2 million for get out the vote-type services. That was since the early 2000s, however. Even more shockingly, Rep. Ilhan Omar has paid her husband’s company nearly $2.8 million since 2019 with campaign funds!
Right now, it is technically legal for politicians to pay family members with campaign funds, but the payments must be for real services and be at fair market value. It’s hard to imagine that Rep. Omar really got nearly $3 million worth of services out of her husband’s firm since 2019…
Well, one Republican plans to stop that corrupt money scheme. That would be Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas, who is introducing the Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act. It would ban anyone running for federal office for compensating immediate family members for campaign services. Speaking on the sort of corruption in DC that the bill aims to prevent, Rep. Fallon told the New York Post:
“Maxine Waters [paid] $1.1 million to her daughter from campaign funds. Ilhan Omar, $2.9 million to her husband from campaign funds. James Clyburn, over $200,000 to multiple family members from his campaign.”
Continuing, he said “The numbers speak for themselves. Americans are sick of politicians abusing their voters’ hard-earned money. This modern-day spoils system must end. My bill shines light on shady campaign finance practices while punishing those who take advantage of these funds to enrich their families.”
The New York Post, which was able to read and report on the proposed bill, added a bit more detail to what is made illegal under it and what the consequences of a candidate violating the rule would be. Reporting on that, it said:
Relatives who fall under the proposed ban would include spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and domestic partners as well as the spouses of campaign committee members.
If the bill becomes law, any candidate who violates the ban would face a fine of either $100,000 for each violation or twice the amount paid to the family members — whichever is greater — and/or imprisonment for up to two years. The campaign committee would not be permitted to reimburse the candidate for any of the penalties.
Rep. Fallon does have some early supporters for the bill. Reps. Ronny Jackson of Texas, Byron Donalds of Florida, Pete Sessions of Texas, Jake Ellzey of Texas, Randy Weber of Texas, Brian Babin of Texas, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Kat Cammack of Florida, and Troy Nehls of Texas, all of them Republicans, are co-sponsors of the anti-corruption measure.
However, it will face a steep climb in both the House and Senate, as both Republicans and Democrats have gotten in on the “modern-day spoils system” to enrich their families.