Bryson Morgan Speaks to POLITICO on Campaign Finance Law
For at least seven years, GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn appears to have enjoyed rent-free use of a campaign office supplied by a political donor — which would be a clear violation of federal election law that comes amid mounting scrutiny of his finances.
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“It sounds like something that could potentially be a fairly serious violation of campaign finance law and the ethics rules,” said Bryson Morgan, a former investigative counsel at the Office of Congressional Ethics, who now practices political law at Caplin & Drysdale. “They need to pay fair-market value for any space that the campaign uses.”
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Morgan, the congressional ethics expert, said all this makes for an incredibly confusing situation, as well as another potential FEC violation; providing a false address to the agency would also be illegal.
“The question of where a member of Congress’ campaign office is located and what they are paying for that office should not be a mystery that takes weeks of investigative reporting to track down with conflicting, and sort of confusing, answers,” Morgan said. “It’s odd that there is not a straightforward answer to what is a very simple question.”
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