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Nat’l Democrats welcome Ross Spano with directions to ethics office

Democrats welcomed U.S. Rep. Ross Spano — with directions to the ethics office.

As the 116th Congress was sworn into office, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee singled out Spano with an aggressive salutation.

In a news release entitled “DCCC’s Freshman Orientation Guide for Ross Spano,” the organization said Spano arrived in Washington “under a cloud of corruption so large that both Republicans and Democrats are calling for an investigation.”

The Dover Republican on Dec. 2 copped to using personal loans to finance his Congressional campaign, a clear violation of federal campaign finance law.

That came after Democratic opponent Kristen Carlson called on the FBI to investigate Spano. After Spano’s admission, Republican primary opponent Neil Combee labeled new congressman as a criminal and Danny Kushmer questioned his credibility.

Now, Democratic leaders say they still have every intention of holding Spano accountable, and made clear scrutiny would start on the Republican’s first day in office.

“We take new members of Congress seriously, which is why we’re helping Representative-elect Spano get in touch with the various organizations that will most likely be investigating his blatant campaign finance violations,” said DCCC spokesman Evan Lukaske.

“These investigators will discover quickly what Floridians, unfortunately, learned too late — Spano’s complete lack of an ethical code or moral compass disqualifies him from serving in Congress.”

The release included with it street addresses for the Office of Congressional Ethics, House Committee on Ethics, Federal Election Commission and the FBI.

The DCCC is offering some friendly advice to Spano: skip the dinner parties and receiving lines, and instead familiarize yourself with the places you’ll likely be spending most of your time,” reads the news release.

For his part, Spano has maintained he never knowingly violated the law and instead worked on the bad advice of a since-fired campaign treasurer. Indeed, former treasurer Jamie Jodoin’s practice with other political campaigns and committees since came under scrutiny, and during her tenure with the Spano campaign, donations from Club for Growth were reportedly not properly itemized.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi last month raised the possibility of not seating Spano. She discussed the Florida politician at the same time she addressed scrutiny over the North Carolina election of Republican Mark Harris, who ultimately was not seated amid questions about the validity of his election.

But since nobody raised questions about the legitimacy of Spano’s vote totals, he took the oath of office today alongside 100 fellow freshman members of Congress.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.
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