A report from POLITICO says that certain “spending practices” of a Panhandle Congressman may have flouted House ethics rules, again raising questions.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, according to the investigation committed a number of potential infractions.
One such spend amounted to “tens of thousands of dollars” to a company connected to speechwriting consultant Darren Beattie, an error Gaetz acknowledges as a “clerical error,” POLITICO reports.
Beattie had spoken at a conference of the H.L. Mencken Club, an alt=right group, and spoke at an event where white identity politics themes were trafficked.
In addition to that spending, the second-term Republican is under fire for a television studio he had installed at the house of his father, Don Gaetz.
POLITICO labels that a “possible violation” of rules.
“Taxpayers foot the bill to rent the television camera, and the private company that built the studio — which Gaetz refuses to identify — takes a fee each time he appears on air, his office said. It’s unclear how much it cost the private company to construct the studio.”
Gaetz, currently in the minority party in the Democratic-controlled House, asserted that the arrangements were both approved by the House Ethics Committee.
POLITICO charges no evidence of that approval was provided.
The publication couldn’t get anyone on record to denounce Gaetz’s actions, relying instead on unnamed experts to deem the arrangement “extraordinarily unusual” and that it “likely violates the gift ban rule.”
Gaetz has been dogged with similar claims before, and they didn’t go anywhere, including an office lease claimed to be “below-market” by liberal watchdog group Common Cause.
In that instance, Gaetz told a Florida Politics reporter he was not worried that the Democratic majority may make hay of the claim.
“I don’t fear the Democratic majority because I don’t work for them. My bosses are the people of Northwest Florida,” the Congressman said. “They’re very pleased with the feisty representation they are getting.