Blog — Conflict of Interests
60 Minutes' report on congressional misbehavior, Washington's Open Secret, drew heavily on CREW's exhaustive research and deep expertise. Our research staff examined campaign finance documents and numerous other sources to uncover abuse by our elected officials.
“While there are anti-nepotism rules that prevent them from hiring their family members on the official staff, they can indeed hire them on the campaign payroll and do."
"They have members of their family on the campaign payroll. 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.”
- Melanie Sloan
The last time 60 Minutes ran a piece on abuses in Congress, it fueled public outrage and led to the passage of the STOCK Act, which had been languishing for years. We hope this story will create similar demand for the kinds of reforms CREW has long called for.
This isn't the first time we've shined a light on shady practices between members of Congress and their families. Last year's Family Affair report found 248 members of the House of Representatives (105 Democrats and 143 Republicans) who were using their official positions to benefit themselves and their families during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
Family Affair 2012's key findings:
- 82 members (40 Democrats and 42 Republicans) paid family members through their congressional offices, campaign committees and political action committees (PACs);
- 44 members (20 Democrats and 24 Republicans) have family members who lobby or are employed in government affairs;
- 90 members (42 Democrats and 48 Republicans) have paid a family business, employer, or associated nonprofit;
- 20 members (13 Democrats and 7 Republicans) used their campaign money to contribute to a family member’s political campaign;
- 14 members (6 Democrats and 8 Republicans) charged interest on personal loans they made to their own campaigns;
- 38 members (24 Democrats and 14 Republicans) earmarked to a family business, employer, or associated nonprofit.
More Blog Posts
CREW's new report recounts how Wall Street short sellers, hedge funds, and traders worked to influence government policy to maximize their own profits. Read More ›
How can we be sure the Pentagon is receiving unbiased counsel from retired officials whose livelihoods now depends on maximizing profits for their new employers?
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November 20, 2012 | Corporate, Corruption, Ethics, Conflict of Interests, Federal Agencies, Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, US Army, Lobbying, News, Boston Globe, Melanie Sloan
Very little is known about the Pentagon's process for allowing departing staff to find employment with military contractors. Read More ›
60 years after his "Checkers" speech, Nixon's financial disclosures seem like a quaint remnant from a bygone era. [Video] Read More ›
After including 248 members of Congress in our Family Affair report, the responses from those asked to address their behavior started to sound alike. Read More ›
March 28, 2012 | Campaign Finance Reform, Ethics, Conflict of Interests, Congressional Ethics, Federal Agencies, Federal Election Commission (FEC), House Members, Howard "Buck" McKeon, Aaron Schock, Ron Paul