Stockman statement on OCE process
Last week the House Committee on Ethics extended the time for its review of an Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) referral concerning a Federal Election Commission (FEC) reporting error made by the former campaign committee of Congressman Steve Stockman.
The FEC reporting error was committed more than a year ago by an accountant who was a campaign volunteer. Rep. Stockman caused the mistake to be corrected more than six months ago, less than a week after he became aware of it. The accountant responsible for the mistake was removed from his position and the campaign committee has since been closed.
Rep. Stockman has offered the following statement regarding the matter pending before the Ethics Committee:
“My office is aware of and is cooperating fully with the Ethics Committee’s preliminary inquiry into an FEC reporting error. I thus join 34 of my colleagues who have also been the subject of an O.C.E. review in the 113th Congress, and am confident the Ethics Committee will ultimately dismiss the matter after it completes a careful review."
Note that because of the immediate corrective action taken by Rep. Stockman, the FEC levied no fine against him or his committee. Since the O.C.E. was created in 2008, nearly forty members of Congress have in fact been fined by the FEC for campaign committee (or other PAC) reporting errors, all of which were more substantive than those involved in this preliminary inquiry.
These members include Senators Barack Obama, Al Franken, Patty Murray, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, and Saxby Chambliss, and Representatives Mark Amodei, Roscoe Bartlett, Dan Benishek, Jeb Bradley, Quico Canseco, Bill Cassidy, Kathy Castor, David Cicilline, Jim Clyburn, Charles DJou, Al Green, Tim Huelskamp, Bobby Jindal, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Hank Johnson, Joe Kennedy, Jack Kingston, Frank Kratovil, Ann McLane Kuster, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Buck McKeon, David McKinley, Patrick Murphy, Solomon Ortiz, Robert Pittenger, Ciro Rodriguez, Bob Turner, Al Wynn, and Todd Young.
Despite having been fined by the FEC for their committees' respective reporting errors, not a single one of these individuals was found to have violated any congressional ethics rule.