Friday, September 21, 2012

CD6: Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney Improperly Worked for Rep. Roscoe Bartlett // MD Dems Want Tax Dollars Returned

Yesterday, The Washington Post's Ben Pershing revealed that Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney may have been violating U.S. House ethics rules while working for Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's office (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: House ethics rules say an aide can’t run to succeed his or her boss and stay on the congressional payroll, but a staffer for Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) did so for the past four months.... Mooney, who also serves as chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, has been on Bartlett’s staff since June, according to House payroll records....
Mooney chose not to run this year, but in March he filed a “Statement of Candidacy” for the 2014 race with the Federal Election Commission, a step that allowed him to continue accepting campaign checks even though he was out of the 2012 race....

An aide can remain employed so long as he or she is only “testing the waters” for a congressional race, the ethics manual says. But the FEC’s guide for candidates makes clear that once a person files a Statement of Candidacy — as Mooney did three months before joining Bartlett’s staff — “he or she is no longer considered to be testing the waters....”

IS ALEX MOONEY A LIABILITY FOR BARTLETT? - This is not the first time GOP Chair Alex Mooney has been at the center of political conflicts. Earlier this year we noted that some rightwingers were upset with Mooney, because he was too busy campaigning for Bartlett's House seat to bother doing his job as GOP Chair. The Maryland Republicans were saddled with thousands of dollars in debt, but rather than restore the GOP's fiscal house (as he promised to do) -- Mooney instead raised money for his own Congressional run. In another example, the Maryland GOP recently sent out a mail piece attacking John Delaney, but declared it was not coordinated with the Bartlett campaign. But these expenditures were happening while Mooney both chaired the GOP and worked for Roscoe Bartlett at the same time/

MARYLAND DEMOCRATS SLAM ETHICS VIOLATION: The Maryland Democrats, for what its worth, jumped on the reported ethics problems and slammed the GOP. They are calling on Mooney to return his taxpayer-funded salary:


Statement on Mooney and Bartlett Ethics Violation 
from Maryland Democratic Party Executive Director David Sloan

"The news yesterday that Maryland GOP Chair and Bartlett aide Alex Mooney violated Congressional ethics rules once again raises serious questions about Roscoe Bartlett’s time in office and his precarious bid for reelection.

“Alex Mooney was a candidate for office while collecting a taxpayer-funded salary from Roscoe Bartlett. Mooney was also a candidate when he raised funds and spent resources to support Roscoe Bartlett. Now Mr. Mooney conveniently says he’s no longer a candidate so that he can keep his taxpayer-funded job in Roscoe Bartlett’s office. Claiming this was a ‘clerical error’ is insulting and Maryland families deserve better.

"Alex Mooney and Roscoe Bartlett’s unethical behavior is outrageous and shows a flagrant disregard for taxpayer dollars. We urge the MD GOP Chair to completely rectify his mistake by returning his taxpayer-funded salary."



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