The American Democracy Legal Fund filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Ralph Abraham with the Office of Congressional Ethics today. Since he announced his run for Governor of Louisiana, Abraham’s congressional website has posted at least twenty news articles covering his campaign for Governor.
The articles Abraham published on his taxpayer-funded website were highly political. For example, these articles featured headlines such as “Abraham on poll: ‘I’m the one who can take (Gov. Edwards) down,’” “Challenging an incumbent governor isn’t for the risk-averse,” and “Abraham enters governor’s race: ‘I intend to win.’” At least one of these articles was posted on Representative Abraham’s official congressional website for over 25 days.
The House Ethics Manual explicitly explains that Members’ official websites, which are paid for with taxpayer dollars, “[m]ay not include personal, political, or campaign information.” This prohibition applies to campaigns for any elected office, whether federal, state, or local.
“This shameless self-promotion at taxpayers’ expense to further a political campaign by Rep. Abraham is unethical and a clear violation of House Ethics Rules,” said ADLF President Brad Woodhouse. “Given the blatant and repeated nature of Rep. Abraham’s actions, I urge the Office of Congressional Ethics to begin an immediate investigation into his conduct.”
You can view a copy of the complaint here.