- Aug 26, 2007
- Reaction score
- San Antonio Texas
- Political Leaning
» Shock Audio: Facing ‘Obligations’ From Leadership, Democrat Congresswoman Leaves Voicemail for Lobbyist Cash - Big GovernmentThis is, uh, Eleanor Norton, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Uh, I noticed that you have given to uh, other colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I am a, um, Senior Member, a twenty year veteran and am Chair of the Sub-committee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. I’m handling the largest economic development project in the United States now, the Homeland Security Compound of three buildings being built on the uh, old St. Elizabeth’s hospital site in the District of Columbia along with uh, fifteen other, uh, sites here for, that are part of the stimulus .
I was, frankly, uh, uh, surprised to see that we don’t have a record, so far as I can tell, of your having given to me despite my uh, long and deep uh, work. In fact, it’s been my major work, uh, on the committee and sub-committee it’s been essentially in your sector.
I am, I’m simply candidly calling to ask for a contribution. As the senior member of the um, committee and a sub-committee chair, we have (chuckles) obligations to raise, uh funds. And, I think it must have been me who hasn’t, frankly, uh, done my homework to ask for a contribution earlier. So I’m trying to make up for it by asking for one now, when we particularly, uh, need, uh contributions, particularly those of us who have the seniority and chairmanships and are in a position to raise the funds.
I’m asking you to give to Citizens for Eleanor Holmes Norton, PO Box 70626, DC, 20024. I’ll send you a follow-up note with appreciation for having heard me out. Thanks again.
Now I know, you're gonna read that and go "eh?" I know I did. I even listened to the woman.
Then I scrolled back up to see what the hubbub was all about. Seeing as I have little to no experience with fundraising or it's laws, and I just am waking up while the coffee maker is going... brains in neutral.
1. At the very beginning of the message, Holmes Norton notes that the lobbyist:
given to other colleagues of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Beyond being a bit heavy-handed, where did she get this information? Such donations are listed in FEC reports, but it is a violation to use that information to solicit campaign donations.
AHHH, she knows, however she learned it she's using it to pressure a lobbyist. Nice.
But the big hit seems to be this part:
Then there are the House Ethics rules, according to House Ethics Manual (2008 Edition):
p. 147: “[N]o solicitation of a campaign or political contribution may be linked to an action taken or to be taken by a Member … in his or her official capacity. … The Standards Committee has long advised Members … that they should always exercise caution to avoid even the appearance that solicitations of campaign contributions are connected in any way with an action taken or to be taken in their official capacity. … [A] Member should not sponsor or participate in any solicitation that offers donors any special access to the Member in the Member’s official capacity.”
p. 150: “[A] Member may not accept any contribution that is linked with an action that the Member has taken or is being asked to take. A corollary of these rules is that Members … are not to take or withhold any official action on the basis of the campaign contributions or support of the involved individuals …. Members … are likewise prohibited from threatening punitive action on the basis of such considerations.”
Oh, and of course, where was she when the call was made. If she was in her office...