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Reid Ethics

Reid Ethics

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Published by LVReviewJournal
Final Ethics complaint vs Harry Reid
Final Ethics complaint vs Harry Reid

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Published by: LVReviewJournal on Jun 02, 2014
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 June 2, 2014
VIA HAND DELIVERY
Honorable Barbara Boxer, Chair Honorable Johnny Isakson, Vice Chair Senate Select Committee on Ethics Hart Building, Room 220 Washington, DC 20510 Re: Request for Investigation of Senator Harry Reid Dear Chairwoman Boxer and Vice Chairman Isakson: Tea Party Patriots, Inc., a national grassroots citizens organization whose members are American citizens and taxpayers committed to economic freedom, personal freedom and a debt free future for America, respectfully requests that the Senate Select Committee on Ethics
(“the Committee”)
investigate whether Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) violated Senate rules by unlawfully and unethically targeting private citizens, Charles and David Koch,
whose philosophical and political views are in opposition to Senator Reid’s philosophy. We
 believe that Senator Reid is misusing his position as the Majority Leader of the Senate to attack these two private citizens, and has misused Senate staff or resources to engage in  partisan campaign activity in violation of federal law and Senate rules. Background Senator Reid opposes and has spearheaded a sprawling campaign of attacks against Charles and David Koch
 — 
two private citizens who are running for no elected office
 — 
and those he perceives as their supporters. As set forth below, the attacks are part of Senator
Reid’s political campaign strategy in the mid
-term elections. Senator Reid has made clear that attacking, demeaning, and undermining the Kochs is central to his strategy to remain Majority Leader, primarily by bolstering the fundraising efforts of Democratic Senators
running for reelection, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (“DSCC”), and
Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC established and controlled by close associates of Senator Reid. Barely a week after Senator Reid began making speeches from the floor of the United
States Senate in which he branded the Kochs “un
-
American,” “dishonest,” “immoral,” and
 
 <June 2, 2014> Page 2 liars based on their opposition to the Affordable Care Act,
1
 the
 New York Times
 reported that Senate Democrats planned a
new
” campaign to atta
ck the Kochs.
2
 Senator Reid explained
that the campaign was “both personal and political” and that he would “do everything [he]
[could] . .
. to bring attention to those guys.”
3
 That same day, the DSCC announced its
Addicted to Koch
 campaign, pledging to use Internet advertisements, videos, social media,
and “up to the minute ‘Addicted to Koch!’ news alerts” to tie Republican Senate candidates
to the Kochs.
4
 
The Committee claimed that, come 2014, Republican candidates “will pay a  price” “for their unshakable allegiance to the Koch Brothers.”
5
 The next month, Senator
Reid sent a fundraising letter claiming that “
the Koch brothers are buying our elections
” and that, “[w]
ithout your support, they
ll succeed in kicking Democrats out of the senate majority
this fall.”
6
 And throughout this period
 — 
indeed since 2012
 — 
Patriot Majority USA, a group with strong ties to Senator Reid, engaged in a long-term, multimillion-dollar advertising campaign targeting the Kochs.
7
 Having made the Kochs central to his own campaign to remain Majority Leader and
to the Democrats’ political fortunes more broadly, Senator Reid expanded his attacks on the
Kochs. On March 24, 2014, Senator Reid issued a press release from his official office in
1
 Michael A. Memoli,
 Harry Reid Calls Koch Brothers “Un
-
 American” Over Obamacare Ads
, Los Angeles Times (Feb. 26, 2014), http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-harry-reid-koch-brothers-unamerican-20140226-story.html#axzz2wFnDDahs; Burgess Everett,
 Harry Reid Tempers Koch Criticism
, Politico (Feb. 26, 2014), http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/harry-reid-koch-brothers-103986.html;
Senator Reid (NV). “Affordable Care Act.” Cong. Rec. 160:32. (Feb. 26, 2014), p. S. 1133, 1160
; Senator
Reid (NV). “
Benefitting the Wealthy
.” Cong. Rec. 160:3
6. (Mar. 4, 2014), p. S. 1257; Senator Reid (NV).
Campaign Distortion
.” Cong. Rec.
160:42. (Mar. 13, 2014), p. S. 1597-98.
2
 Ashley Parker,
 New Democratic Strategy Goes After Koch Brothers
, The New York Times (Mar. 5, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/us/politics/new-democratic-strategy-goes-after-koch- brothers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1.
3
 
 Id 
.
4
 
 DSCC To Launch Major New Campaign: GOP Is “Addicted To Koch!”
, Press Release (Mar. 6, 2014), www.dscc.org/pressrelease/dscc-lauch-major-new-campaign-gop-addicted-koch.
5
 
 Id 
.
6
 Sarah Jean Seman,
 Reid Is Really, Really Intimidated By Two Words: Koch Brothers
 (Mar. 10, 2014), http://townhall.com/tipsheet/sarahjeanseman/2014/03/10/reid-is-really-really-intimidated-by-two-words-koch-brothers-n1806671.
7
 
See
 Kenneth P. Vogel,
 Liberal Group Targets Koch Brothers With $500K Ad Buy
, Politco (Aug. 21, 2012), http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79918.html#ixzz33JwHkHRO; Jim Morrill,
 New Ad By Outside Group Slams Tillis
, Campaign Tracker (Feb. 12, 2014), http://campaigntracker.blogspot.com/2014/02/new-ad-by-outside-group-slams-tillis.html.
 
 <June 2, 2014> Page 3 which he blamed the Kochs for slowing down a bill intended to provide aid to Ukraine.
8
 In
early April 2014, Senator Reid preemptively shot down Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget  proposal on the Senate floor as the “Koch budget,” asserting that it was somehow intended to “protec[t] the Koch brothers.”
9
 On May 2, 2014, Senator Reid proclaimed in an official press
release that Republicans “care
more about defending billionaires like the Koch brothers
” than
about the middle class.
10
 Days later, in a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Reid  proclaimed
that Charles and David Koch “are one of the main causes” of climate change and
faulted them for stalling an energy bill in the Senate.
11
 And on May 14, Senator Reid stated in an interview that his attacks against Charles and David Koch are for partisan, political
reasons: “
The Koch Brothers,
I’m not walking away from them.
 I’m going to be on their
tail for the whole campaign
 because if they think Romney was watched closely by me, that
s nothing compared to what it
s going to be like with the Koch Brother 
s.”
12
 In addition to his floor speeches and official office press releases attacking the Kochs, Senator Reid maintains an official Senate webpage
 — 
denominated
The Facts Against The Koch Brothers
”— 
that purports to set forth
facts
 about Charles and David Koch. The webpage and social media feeds from the website are paid for by official funds and
maintained by Senator Reid’s official office and staff, using Senate resources and
consists of false and misleading political and campaign related attacks against the Kochs.
13
 
Beyond these efforts to chill the Kochs’ and their supporters’ political speech,
Senator Reid has also called on Congress to effectively foreclose the Kochs from
8
 
 Reid Remarks On Ukraine Aid Bill And The Anniversary Of The Affordable Care Act 
, Press Release (Mar. 24, 2014), http://www.reid.senate.gov/press_releases/2014-24-03-reid-remarks-on-ukraine-aid-bill-and-the-anniversary-of-the-affordable-care-act#.U4Z_J_ldVyK.
9
 Burgess Everett,
 Harry Reid: Paul
 Ryan Budget Creates “Koch
-Topia
, Politico (Apr. 1, 2014), www.politico.com/story/2014/04/harry-reid-paul-ryan-budget-koch-brothers-105243.html.; Senator Reid
(NV). “
Koch Brothers
.” Cong. Rec.
160:52. (Apr. 1, 2014), p. S. 1844.
10
 
 Reid Statement On Republicans Putting Conspiracy Theories Before The Middle Class
, Press Release (Mar. 2, 2014), http://www.reid.senate.gov/press_releases/2014-02-05-reid-statement-on-republicans- putting-conspiracy-theories-before-the-middle-class#.U4Zum_ldVyJ.
11
 Burgess Everett,
 Reid: Kochs “Main Causes” Of Climate Change
, Politico (May 7, 2014), http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/harry-reid-koch-brothers-climate-change-106441.html;
Senator Reid (NV). “
Climate Change
.” Cong. Rec. 160:
68. (May 7, 2014), p. S. 2741.
12
 John Stanton & Kate Nocera,
 Harry Reid Backs Constitutional Amendment To Limit Koch Bro
thers’
 Influence
, Buzzfeed Politics (May 14, 2014), www.buzzfeed.com/johnstanton/harry-reid-backs-constitutional-amendment-to-limit-koch-brot (emphasis added);
 see also
 
 Harry Reid Hates the Redskins
, The Wall Street Journal (May 28, 2014) (noting that the
“political opinions” of Charles and David Koch “offend Harry Reid’s ears”).
 
13
 
The Facts About The Koch Brothers
, http://www.reid.senate.gov/koch-facts#.U4ZzM_ldVyJ.

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