Report: U.S. reps use campaign funds to pay family members

Dina Elrashidy

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington released a report today naming U.S. House of Representatives members who use their positions to financially benefit their families. The list includes the following four Minnesota representatives:
The campaign committee for Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., paid his son $7,000 in salary during the 2010 election cycle.
The campaign committee for Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., paid his wife $10,000 in the 2008 election cycle and reimbursed the congressman approximately $28,000 in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
The campaign committee for Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., reimbursed the congressman approximately $30,000 in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles and paid his son a salary of approximately $100,000 in 2008 and 2010.
The campaign committee for Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., reimbursed the congressman and his wife approximately $30,000 in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
Overall, CREW found that 248 House members used their positions to financially benefit themselves or their family members.
“Conduct like this reinforces the widely held view that members of Congress are more interested in enriching themselves than in public service.  Family Affair highlights these practices,” stated CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan in a press release.