OCTOBER 01, 2008
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supported legislation that would have banned members of Congress from paying their spouses with political donations yet her rich husband has secretly received nearly $100,000 from her political action committee.
The controversy of congressional spouses getting hefty salaries from campaign coffers surfaced during the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and Madam Speaker vowed to eliminate the unethical practice. Pelosi was undoubtedly motivated by the fact that two prominent Republicans—Tom DeLay of Texas and California’s John Doolittle—associated with the jailed lobbyist put their wives on their campaign payrolls for fundraising work.
This evidently inspired the veteran San Francisco lawmaker to support a bill last year that didn’t’ survive a Senate committee but would have banned members of Congress from paying their spouses for services such as consulting and fundraising as well as indirect compensation to companies that employ them.
It turns out that Pelosi has been doing just that over the last decade, according to a reputable Washington D.C. news publication. Pelosi’s Political Action Committee has paid her husband’s real estate and investment firm $99,000 in the last ten years for rent, utilities and accounting fees. The payments have quadrupled since the speaker’s husband took over as treasurer of her committee with his company scheduled to make nearly $50,000 this year alone.
Pelosi has been in hot water for several other questionable moves in the last few years. Earlier this year she violated House Ethics Rules by introducing legislation that financially benefited a pharmaceutical company she owns stock in and another that donated heavily to her campaign and employs two of her former senior staffers as lobbyists.
In 2007 she came under fire for quietly inserting a last-minute provision into a freshly approved multi billion-dollar redevelopment bill to benefit her husband financially. That year she also got busted by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for violating federal election law.
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