Thursday, July 13, 2006

Earlier this year, Sweeney and Doolittle (no that is not another name for Sweeney, that is someone's actual name) were reported to be the only two members of congress paying family a commission on campaign funds:

Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY), like Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA), paid his wife on commission for campaign fundraising, a highly unusual arrangement that means that the Sweeneys benefitted personally from every contribution. Ethics experts we spoke to earlier this week about Doolittle's wife said that they'd never heard of a similar arrangement. Well, we found one. And it might explain why the Justice Department recently examined Sweeney's financial records. (source)

Here's more from another report earlier this year:

...Sweeney's wife earns a 10 percent commission.

The ethics code of the Association of Fundraising Professionals forbids members who work for nonprofit charities from accepting commission-based pay; they may accept flat fees or salaries for fundraising. (source)

Yesterday's Washington Post Has an article on Doolittle titled "Lawmaker Critcized for PAC Fees Paid to Wife" which makes no mention at all of Sweeney or the current status of his wife's payment arrangement. What did she get paid? Where did that money go?

Kirsten Gillibrand's Ethics IOU is clearly a departure from the Sweeney/Doolittle mode of operation. Her promise:

I WILL NOT HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS ON PAYROLL: No family member of mine or any of my staff members will be on my congressional or campaign payroll. There will be no "slush funds" to pay family members. (read the Full Pledge)



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