Democrat Rep. Marie Newman (IL) allegedly promised a local activist a six-figure job funded by U.S. taxpayers if she were to win the tight primary race against another Democrat, which could potentially be in violation of federal law, according to reports.
Newman is currently in a court battle after only being in office for five months, according to WBBM. Court documents the Washington Free Beacon obtained allegedly show a contract was signed in December 2018, two years before Newman was elected to office.
The documents claim Iymen Hamman Chehade, the man suing Newman, was promised a job by then-candidate Newman. “In the event that Newman is elected as U.S. Representative to the Third Congressional District of Illinois (“Representative”) for the congressional term beg-inning in January of 2021,” the documents state.
The court documents additionally show the alleged contract states, “Newman agrees to employ Chehade” to be the “Chief Foreign Policy Advisor” with “a salary of no less than between $135,000 and $140,000 per year, less applicable required taxes and withholdings.”
The documents include their agreement to show, “in Chehade’s second year of employment, Newman will provide Chehade cost-of-living and merit raises pursuant to standard office policies.”
Newman won, but the alleged job never came. The lawsuit could is seen as a major problem for Newman. Kendra Arnold, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust executive director, told the Free Beacon, “Federal law prohibits congressional candidates from offering employment for political purposes.”
“Should Chehade’s allegation prove true, Newman’s proposition would ‘absolutely’ violate the statute,” Arnold added.
Chehade told WBBM the “taxpayers and constituents should be concerned.” He continued to add, “There’s an irony is all this is that you’re a lawmaker, but you’re breaking contracts.” When WBBM asked if this was to potentially keep him from running in the primary, he said, “Too many horses in the race at that time.”
WBBM reported, Chehade said their “collective goal” was to the longtime incumbent Dan Lipinski, though they eventually had a “falling out.” He said his lawsuit ultimately is “a matter of [sic] principal.” Newman even has taxpayer-funded congressional lawyers defending her.
Chehade continued to say, “taxpayers should know where their money is going.” One of Newman’s campaign spokespersons said the congressional staff attorneys are salaried, adding, “there are no additional costs because of this lawsuit.”
Eventually, Newman’s spokesperson stated to WBBM:
“Mr. Chehade was never and has never been a candidate in a congressional race for Illinois’ 3rd District. Mr. Chehade was not hired in part because he not only misrepresented his qualifications but was ill-suited for a senior role in a congressional office, as demonstrated by his interactions with Ms. Newman and her campaign volunteers.
“In fact, in the summer of 2019, Mr. Chehade explicitly conveyed to Ms. Newman over the phone that he could not work with her. It was only after several months of no direct communication between the two that Mr. Chehade contacted Ms. Newman pleading to her to hire him in her official office.
“While these reasons have been communicated multiple times to Mr. Chehade over the past year, he has spent over a month making false statements to the press. We look forward to the matter being addressed in court and, until then, we will not be commenting further.”
Free Beacon reported, “Chehade’s involvement in the primary would have likely siphoned votes away from Newman, who defeated Lipinski by fewer than 3 points”:
Illinois’s Third Congressional District holds the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the state and is home to American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), a prominent anti-Israel advocacy group and leading promoter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Chehade also backs BDS and spoke at an AMP-sponsored event in 2012.
Chehade went on to assist Newman’s campaign after accepting the agreement and declining to enter the primary, the lawsuit states. According to the complaint, Chehade served as an “informal” adviser to Newman prior to the primary and “helped her craft her campaign statement on Israel/Palestine.” That statement included Newman’s support for “the First Amendment right to pursue the boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign” and opposition to “any federal, state, or local legislation” criminalizing the BDS movement.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Spokesman Mike Berg told Breitbart News, “Marie Newman appears to have admitted to a federal crime in writing. Voters – and potentially federal law enforcement – will hold her accountable.”