Report Details How Ron Johnson and GOP Committee Members Have Enriched Themselves and Their Families While in Office
Washington, D.C. – The Congressional Integrity Project released an extensive new report today detailing corruption, self-dealing, and nepotism among the Republican majority members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Following the committee’s widely panned attempts to smear Democratic nominee Joe Biden, this report highlights how Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and his fellow committee members have skirted ethics rules and used their positions to enrich themselves and their families while ignoring actual wrongdoing at the highest levels of government.
When it does not suit their political agenda, these Senators abdicate their oversight duties. Instead, they have spent months using taxpayer dollars to launch baseless political attacks. Even fellow Republican committee member Mitt Romney (R-UT) called their effort a “political exercise” that uses the “power of Congress … in an effort to damage political opponents.”
Meanwhile, of the eight Republican members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs:
- Six have or have had immediate family in government and political jobs that overlap with their duties, including one registered lobbyist.
- Their campaigns and political organizations have paid at least $7,443,053 directly to family members or businesses they run or work for.
“For too long, these Senators have put their own personal interests before the needs of the American public, covering for Trump’s corruption and ignoring their legitimate oversight responsibilities,” said Kyle Herrig, Executive Director of the Congressional Integrity Project. “While they ramp up their partisan attacks and continue to pursue debunked conspiracy theories, we’ll highlight how they’ve systematically used their offices to generate profits for themselves and their family members. We can’t force the committee to do its job with integrity. But we can expose their records to stop them from acting hypocritically and trying to mislead and manipulate the American people.”
A full copy of this report is available HERE. It details how:
- Sen. Ron Johnson’s massive fortune is the direct result of nepotism and self-dealing in both the private sector and the U.S. Senate. Johnson, whose wealth has likely doubled since running for the Senate, leveraged his position as the deciding vote on the 2017 tax bill to increase the value of his family business, which he promptly began trying to sell after the bill became law (and sold it right before Covid-19 tanked the economy).
- Sen. Johnson’s children received special treatment from a state agency led by a Johnson campaign donor to secure questionable “historic” designations and up to $2.1 million in tax credits for an investment property, even though they did not follow the rules and their application should have been disqualified.
- In 2016, Sen. Johnson’s campaign committee paid $27,503.96 to a company called Dynamic Drinkware that was run by his brother, Barry. The expenses were vaguely listed on Federal Election Commission filings as being for “materials.”
- Sen. Rick Scott’s family began using his position for their personal benefit immediately after his first gubernatorial campaign. A political firm Sen. Scott’s campaign paid over $500,000 to hire his daughter after his gubernatorial campaign — even though she had no relevant experience. Instead, she frequently name-dropped her father to attract clients.
- After winning elected office, Sen. Scott broke his promise to put his assets in a blind trust and transferred hundreds of millions in assets to his wife’s name. The maneuver allows him to avoid conflict-of-interest charges and continue his pattern of blatant self-dealing.
- Sen. Mike Enzi’s son cashed in on his connections through a government affairs role for an energy company that defrauded the federal government. The company received millions of taxpayer dollars —which it used to pay Enzi’s salary —for a decades-long project that never materialized and never created a single job.
- Sen. Enzi’s campaigns and political action committee have funneled nearly a million dollars to his daughter-in-law’s “consulting” company, which is based in her home and does not have any employees the Congressional Integrity Project could identify.
- In 2010, Sen. Rand Paul, whose ascendance in Kentucky politics is closely tied to his father’s famous last name, directed almost $4.3 million through his campaign and political action committee to a Republican consulting firm that hired his wife shortly after his election — and later paid the firm millions more. Kelley Paul had no relevant professional experience the Congressional Integrity Project could identify; to quote Sen. Paul’s own comments, it was more likely that she was hired “because her last name was [Paul].”
- Sen. Josh Hawley abused public resources to burnish his political profile as Missouri’s attorney general, used his Senate office to boost an anti-LGTBQ group that published his wife’s book and paid her salary. He also skirted Missouri law by registering to vote at an address where he does not live, and accepted speaking fees from an SLPC-designated hate group that he has taken official action to support.
More information on each of these Senators’ and their corrupt dealings is available HERE.
The Congressional Integrity Project has previously released individual reports on Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, Florida Senator Rick Scott, and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner detailing how they have misused their positions to enrich themselves and their families.
For more information on the Congressional Integrity Project’s work visit: www.congressionalIntegrity.org. For the latest updates, follow @USIntegrityProj on Twitter.