House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) is now the target of an ethics complaint from non-partisan watchdog group Americans for the Public Trust (APT), Breitbart reports.
The group alleges that she violated federal election law and House ethics rules in coordinating with a gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety.
McBath was the spokesperson for the gun control advocacy group until she announced her campaign in 2018, but APT says she continued to draw a salary from the group for a short time after announcing.
APT wants the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to look into whether McBath “prohibited, excessive, and unreported in-kind corporate contributions” after becoming a candidate and then a congresswoman.
Allegations against McBath
According to APT, McBath was interviewed by CNN as a representative of Everytown after announcing her candidacy, which is a conflict of interest. Everytown may also have had involvement in an April 2018 campaign video McBath released to YouTube.
Also in April, Everytown endorsed McBath and contributed over $200,000 in digital ad and mailer support for her campaign.
Everytown told APT that it also contributed $1.2 million in advertising to McBath’s campaign after she won the primary runoff in July 2018.
In all, Everytown says it spent more than $5 million on McBath’s campaign, which represented more than 80% of its total expenditures.
Situations like this one, if the allegations prove true, are exactly why campaign finance laws exist. Basically, this gun control group decided to buy one of its own into office.
An advocacy group should not be able to buy a congresswoman, even if she was obviously in the tank on the issue before becoming a candidate.
While many in Congress have complicated allegiances and have not been immune from the influence of lobbying groups, this situation seems particularly egregious in nature. Has McBath really extricated herself from her former role as as advocate for Everytown?
How can she claim she has, when they have spent millions of dollars to get her elected? They surely wouldn’t give the bulk of their available funds to her campaign if they didn’t think they’d be getting any benefit from it.
In an interesting side note, McBath just announced her endorsement of Michael Bloomberg’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is, of course, the founder of Everytown for Gun Safety.