UPDATE: Braley Cancels CR Event After Ethics Complaint; Lange Campaign Takes Credit
Congressman Bruce Braley has canceled a deficit reduction workshop a week after an ethics complaint alleged that the event violated rules.
Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo, has canceled a deficit reduction workshop in Cedar Rapids after an ethics complaint last week claimed it should be considered a campaign event.
The camp for opponent Ben Lange, a Republican from Independence, is claiming credit for holding politicians accountable.
Since Braley is campaigning to keep Iowa's newly drawn 1st Congressional District, which will encompass Cedar Rapids in 2013 but has not yet, the complaint argues that the event is out of his current district, thus violating Iowa House of Representatives rules.
Lange's campaign advisor Cody Brown told the Gazette that Lange is owed credit for the cancelation and that Lange was "holding Washington politicians like Bruce Braley accountable."
An earlier Marion Patch story attributes the ethics complaint to Matt Giese, a former chairman of the Dubuque County Republicans.
For Braley's response, read the full Gazette story.
An ethics complaint was filed Wednesday against Congressman Bruce Braley, who is seeking reelection in Iowa's first district.
Matt Giese, a former chairman of the Dubuque County Republicans, filed the complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics. The complaint says Braley used government resources to help his campaign.
The complaint says Braley improperly sent an email on his Congressional letterhead, from his official email account, inviting Iowans to two deficit workshops later this month. One workshop is to be held in Waterloo, the other in Cedar Rapids.
“Because Braley is in the midst of a tough reelection campaign in the new 1st Congressional District, and based on the fact that Braley does not represent the people of Cedar Rapids, the only conceivable reason that Braley would have in using official taxpayer-funded resources to communicate with the residents of Cedar Rapids is to support his reelection campaign in violation of House ethics rules and federal law,” the complaint reads.
A message to the Braley camp was not returned, but Braley's chief of staff called the complaint baseless, The Des Moines Register reported today, and said the House Administration Committee approved the email before it was released:
Braley Chief of Staff John Davis provided a preliminary approval notice issued by the House Administration Committee on Aug. 3, which “authorizes the member to proceed immediately with the printing, production, and/ or distribution of this communication.”
Ben Lange, who is challenging Braley for the Congressional seat, issued a press release about the complaint.
"Congressman Bruce Braley is using taxpayer resources to fund his reelection campaign," said Lange adviser Cody Brown in the statement. "This is an outrageous breach of the public's trust and we call on the Office of Congressional Ethics to immediately launch a formal congressional investigation into the conduct of Braley's Washington office."