A former Republican who was running virtually unopposed en route to winning his race in 2012 with 78% of the vote funneled $130,000 from his leadership PAC to his two daughters for “campaign work.”
An investigation by Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute (GAI) president Peter Schweizer found that former Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), who won in Louisiana with “78 percent of the vote” paid “his two daughters a total of $130,000” during the campaign cycle. Alexander, a six-term Representative, retired from Congress in August to work in the cabinet of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R).
Lawmakers in Congress have been using such leadership PACs to route money from donors to family members, according to a blockbuster investigation that was featured on 60 Minutes. More of Schweizer’s work will be revealed in his book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.
As host Steve Kroft said, “For some congressmen and senators, this is sort of a family business.”
Reps. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) are the biggest offenders Schweizer found.
“I think it’s the kind of nepotism that, in large parts of American society, we frown about. I mean, in corporate America, a lot of corporations have policies that relate to nepotism and the hiring and firing of individual people,” Schweizer said. “But Congress has created this domain that allows them to decide whether something is ethical or whether something is good. And it’s another example, unfortunately, where the rules that apply to the rest of us don’t really apply to members of Congress.”
When Kroft confronted Alexander in his congressional office, Alexander said “somebody has to do” the campaign work. He said they only did whatever other campaign employees do.
“Well I kept it with somebody that I can trust and if one can’t trust their daughter, then who can they trust?” Alexander when Kroft asked how “it just looks like you’re using your campaign funds to enrich your family.”
Alexander, as the exposé found, gave “$73,000 to Lisa Lowe, and $57,000 to Ginger,” his two daughters.
Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) agreed that politics is becoming the “family business.” Reportedly, there “are at least 75 members of Congress who have hired members of their family to work on their campaign and paid them with political contributions.” Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) had “six family members on the campaign payroll–daughter, daughter’s mother in-law, three grandchildren and a grandchild in-law,” and he paid “them a total of $304,000 over the past two election cycles.”
“They have members of their family on the campaign payroll,” Sloan said. “And they also will often have members of their family who are lobbyists and lobby on issues in which the member may even be working.”
As Breitbart News has reported, Schweizer’s new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets, will rock Capitol Hill with stunning revelations about how Republicans and Democrats use mafia-like tactics to extort political contributions. Schweizer’s last book, Throw Them All Out, shocked the political establishment and mobilized Americans against Washington’s permanent political class, forcing Congress to pass the STOCK Act which banned insider trading by lawmakers in Congress.