If you were to imagine what a political campaign in a banana republic or similarly corrupt third world nation would look like, what would you imagine? Probably a heavy dose of voter fraud and massive amounts of campaign funds being “paid” to those close to the politician, right?
Well Democrat Maxine Waters appears to have perfected the latter half, at least, as details are emerging about her paying the massive sum of $1.1 million to her daughter for campaign-related services, and Democrat Ilhan Omar racked up an even larger $2.9 million bill with her husband.
It’s amazing how talented their family members are where they can command such high prices!
The New York Post, reporting on the massive amount of money certain Democrats have paid to family members out of campaign funds, notes that:
“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.”
Well, not all congressmen are corrupt, or at least not so accepting of open corruption of the Omar and Waters sort, so they’re fighting back with a new bill meant to make it harder for politicians to pay off their family members and thus enrich themselves, or at least their families, with campaign funds.
According to the NYP, Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas has introduced a bill, the Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act, that would “bar any candidate running for federal office from compensating immediate family members for campaign services.”
The Post then adds that the bill “would extend the ban to any political committee “established, maintained or controlled by a candidate or an individual holding Federal office” – blocking any current lawmaker from compensating a family member for working on their campaign.”
Fallon, describing the bill and its necessity for the Post after pointing out the above figures regarding how much Maxine and Ilhan paid their families out of campaign funds, said:
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Fallon added. “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.”
And the restrictions in the bill are harsh, as are the financial punishments it would dole out to those who break its provisions. Reporting on those aspects of the FIRE Act, respectively, the New York Post notes that:
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.
Read the legislation here:
Unfortunately, the bill will likely have trouble becoming law. Even if it made it through Congress, which seems doubtful thanks to the number of politicians on both sides that enrich their families by spending campaign funds on the services conveniently provided by family members, it would then have to be signed by Biden, whose financial relationship with his son Hunter has drawn much scorn and outrage.
However, perhaps a red wave would lead to a veto-proof majority that could be badgered into signing it, or the idea will be resurrected in 2024 when Trump wins his second term and Slow Joe and his cronies are tossed from office.