NOVEMBER 03, 2005
Senator Clinton’s dual use of her full-time Senate staffers is somewhat unprecedented. At the moment she is paying eight of the staffers as much as a $2,600 monthly stipend in order to work on her upcoming re-election campaign.
Despite what one might think, this practice is perfectly legal. But despite this fact, it certainly raises concerns regarding the appearance of propriety. “I think the appearance is not good,” said political finance expert Gene Russianoff, staff attorney with the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Senators Edward Kennedy, Dianne Feinstein, and Thomas Carper each take advantage of the ability to use their own staffers as campaign workers, though they only use one or two of their staffers instead of the eight that Clinton uses.
According to former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Porter:
Powerful, busy senators like Mrs. Clinton want to have good staff and a lot of staff because they have more demands on their offices than other senators. But to use this practice as much as she does is unusual. She’s paying multiple people and using two different campaign accounts and I haven’t heard of that kind of thing before.
Having this many staffers in dual roles?one in which they are working for the government and the other in which they are working for a political campaign?does no good in helping to alleviate the amount of mistrust the public has for the Senate.
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