One of the candidates reportedly on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s shortlist of potential running mates might have been knocked out of contention over new corruption allegations.
Community Coalition co-founder and U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) allegedly received more than $70,000 in fees for “consultant” services after her campaign for state assembly funneled roughly $100,000 to the nonprofit, according to Breitbart.
While the scandal involving Bass revolves around activities that occurred years ago, those issues from her past are sure to creep back into the consideration surrounding Biden’s running mate pick.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story after reviewing the lawmaker’s financial disclosures. Between 2008 and 2011, Bass’ state assembly campaign made the payments to Community Coalition, which in turn paid Bass $70,500.
Even a cursory review of the details indicates an arrangement that does not seem to pass the smell test. She even acknowledged near the end of her state assembly career that her fundraising efforts had seen a marked increase and that she hoped to put the extra money to good use, hence the nonprofit donation.
The real issue seems to relate to the payment that went back into Bass’ pocket, which nearly accounted for the entire donation made by her campaign.
Reports indicate this also represented the first and only time she received payment as a consultant for any organization.
Kirk O. Hanson, a senior fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, advised that it is “not a good idea to receive substantial income from organizations that are supported by contributions from your campaign fund.”
He added that such behavior “creates an appearance of a conflict of interest, that you have converted campaign funds into personal income.”
Of course, she is not the only possible running mate who has faced backlash since rising in prominence throughout the ongoing presidential campaign.
Many in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, for example, expressed concerns about the record of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who was previously a prosecuting attorney.
In any case, Biden has vowed to announce his pick before accepting the party’s nomination later this month. Time will tell which of the prospects his campaign believes would be the biggest help heading into the final stretch before Election Day.