THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF MASSACHUSETTS FILES SENATE ETHICS COMMITTEE COMPLAINT AGAINST U.S. SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN’S CHIEF OF STAFF MINDY MYERS
Calls for Investigation
The text of the complaint, signed by Mass GOP Executive Director Rob Cunningham, is below:
September 30, 2013
BY FACSIMILE: (202) 224-7416
The Honorable Barbara Boxer, Chair
The Honorable Johnny Isakson, Vice Chair
Senate Select Committee on Ethics
Hart Building, Room 220
Washington, DC 20510
Chairwoman Boxer and Vice Chairman Isakson,
This letter constitutes a formal complaint against Mindy Myers, currently employed as the Chief of Staff in the Office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. Based upon information and belief, set forth below and in the attached materials, the Massachusetts Republican Party files this complaint seeking an immediate investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Ethics into prohibited campaign activity during official Senate duty, on government property, and while using taxpayer resources.
The attached communication makes clear, and an investigation will no doubt confirm, that there is a reason to believe that Mindy Myers has participated in partisan campaign fundraising activity in violation of Senate Rules 38.2, 40, and 41.
I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
On September 27, 2013 at 1:35 PM, while the Senate was in session, Mindy Myers emailed a fundraising solicitation and a message from Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign to a partisan distribution list. (Joe Battenfeld, “Liz Warren staffer invokes Scott Brown in pitch for Jeanne Shaheen,” The Boston Herald, September 28, 2013) (Att. A)
In this email, signed by Mindy Myers, a clearly partisan fundraising solicitation was included: “Let’s show Scott Brown: If he decides to run against Jeanne Shaheen, we’ll be there once again to stop him. Please make a donation to Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign before her September fundraising deadline.” The following sentence was hyperlinked to a page for processing donation hosted on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign website (https://secure.actblue.com/
There Is Reason To Believe That Mindy Myers Violated Senate Rules 38.2, 40, and 41.
In Common Cause v. Bolger, 574 F. Supp. 672 (D.D.C. 1982), aff’d, 461 U.S. 911 (1983), the Court stated that “Congress has recognized the basic principle that government funds should not be spent to help incumbents gain reelection.” This is buttressed by Senate Rule 41 which prohibits Senate staff from soliciting federal campaign funds while in congressional offices or otherwise using official resources.* Moreover, 18 U.S.C. § 607 restricts the solicitation of political contributions in federal buildings or other federal facilities. The prohibition states as follows: “Section 607. Place of Solicitation: (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit… any contribution within the meaning of section 301(8) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by any person mentioned in section 603, or in any navy yard, fort, or arsenal. Any person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
Mindy Myers’ actions clearly satisfy all of these standards. Not only has Mindy Myers coordinated and forwarded a fundraising solicitation, but she also augmented it with her own partisan comments, a hyperlink to a campaign donation page and did so from what appears to be a government office during the taxpayer funded employment..
Accordingly, the Massachusetts Republican Party respectfully requests that the Senate Special Committee on Ethics conduct an investigation on an expedited basis into the violations outlined herein to ensure that these alleged violations immediately cease and do not reoccur.
The above is correct and accurate to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief.
MassGOP Executive Director
BOSTON HERALD: Liz Warren staffer invokes Scott Brown in pitch for Jeanne Shaheen
Friday, September 27, 2013
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren apparently isn’t satisfied with just bouncing former GOP rival Scott Brown out of the Senate in Massachusetts — she’s trying to make sure Brown doesn’t get elected in New Hampshire.
Warren’s taxpayer-funded chief of staff Mindy Myers wrote a fundraising pitch for Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire warning that Brown may try to challenge Shaheen next year.
“Believe it or not, our old friend Scott Brown is considering a move north to New Hampshire …” Myers wrote in an email from the Massachusetts Democrat’s campaign account. “Let’s show Scott Brown: If he decides to run against Jeanne Shaheen, we’ll be there once again to stop him.”
The Massachusetts Republican Party immediately fired back at Myers, accusing her of doing campaign work on public time.
“Senator Warren’s staff should focus on the job taxpayers are paying them to do, not writing partisan fundraising emails in the middle of the work day,” GOP spokesman Will Ritter said. “You would think avoiding a government shutdown would be the priority for Senator Warren’s staff, not obsessing about Scott Brown and New Hampshire.”
A spokeswoman for Warren did not immediately respond to an email from the Herald asking for a comment on Ritter’s charge.
In a separate fundraising pitch, Shaheen says she needs help because Brown is making his seventh trip to New Hampshire next week to meet with “GOP insiders.”
“This is his latest hint at running against me,” Shaheen says.
Brown, who has a vacation home in Rye, N.H., has openly talked of the possibility he could move to the Granite State to run against Shaheen.
The Wrentham Republican has also said he’s considering running for president in 2016.
Warren ousted Brown in a bruising re-election contest last year, but polls show Brown would be the New Hampshire GOP’s strongest hope for taking Shaheen’s seat next year.
I received this email today from Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
Believe it or not, our old friend Scott Brown is considering a move north to New Hampshire to run against Senator Shaheen in 2014.
With your help, we beat Scott Brown and elected Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Let’s show Scott Brown: If he decides to run against Jeanne Shaheen, we’ll be there once again to stop him.
Elizabeth for MA
—– ORIGINAL MESSAGE —–
From: Jeanne Shaheen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: September 27, 2013 9:30:12 AM EDT
To: Mindy Myers
Subject: Scott Brown
On Monday, Scott Brown is coming to Hampstead, NH, for his seventh meeting in six months with New Hampshire GOP insiders. This is his latest hint at running against me.
We cannot afford to underestimate him. Just like he did in his 2012 race against Elizabeth Warren, Brown would bring tens of millions in support from Wall Street and Tea Party billionaires.
We can be certain Karl Rove and Brown’s other advisers are going to watch our quarterly fundraising totals closely – they’ll do anything to take control of the Senate. We have to show we’re ready for whatever they throw our way.
With 3 days to go until the September 30 filing deadline, we’re still $29,719 short of our goal. Can you contribute now to help us make sure we’re ready to overcome attacks from Brown and right-wing Super PACs?
Brown and his funders spent $40million attacking Sen. Warren. If they run here, all signs point to a repeat of that kind of spending.
But we’ve got two advantages: we know New Hampshire and we’ve got you.
By the FEC’s deadline, we need to take a big step forward in our effort to build the strongest grassroots campaign New Hampshire’s ever seen. Whether the Republicans ultimately nominate Brown or State Sen. Jim Rubens, who recently announced, we have to be ready.
Help us build the kind of grassroots-driven campaign that can win.
We did it in 2008; we can do it again. It’s a matter of coming together in times like these.
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