Public housing

CREW lambasts 33 members of Congress - to include seven Democrats and 26 Republicans, including Tennessee's Stephen Fincher - for using their offices as "dorms or frat houses."
Superintendent of House office buildings Bill Weidemeyer has said that members sleeping in their offices adds some burden to the housekeeping staff and has made building maintenance more difficult since members complain they can't sleep through the noise of construction. Living in a House office violates the prohibition on using taxpayer resources for anything other than the performance of official duties. The Members' Handbook states that the Member Representational Allowance may not be used for personal expenses. Further, under the Internal Revenue Code, members who sleep in their offices are receiving a taxable benefit. The IRS treats lodging as a taxable fringe benefit unless it is offered on the employer's business premises, is for the employer's convenience, and is required as a condition of employment. As living in a House office clearly is not a condition of serving in Congress, members must pay taxes for imputed income based on the fair market value of their lodging. Notably, members of Congress and congressional staff already have imputed taxable income based on the fair market value of their reserved parking spaces. If members must pay taxes to lodge their cars, surely they must pay taxes for their own lodging.
Feb 10, 2011 3:21 PM

Watchdog Group Files FEC Complaint On Congressman Blackburn

From Katie Allison Granju:
The Federal Election Commission should conduct a thorough investigation of Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s troubled campaign finances, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the FEC by a watchdog group. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Germantown, Tenn., resident Barbara Kaye Ginsburg filed the complaint against the committee and the committee’s treasurer, Tea Hoffman.
UPDATE: Blackburn responds:
"Rep. Blackburn, in holding her campaign to a strict ethical standard, self-initiated a reconciliation of her campaign accounts. The reconciliation confirmed that all funds were properly raised and properly spent. She is confident that FEC review of those records will agree with this assessment. In regards to the merit less complaint filed by the liberal partisan group CREW, Rep. Blackburn is not surprised and unimpressed. This is an election year and conservative women are prime targets for Democrat attack."
SEE ALSO: The CREW presser Roll Call City Paper Jackson Sun Southern Beale
Jun 11, 2008 12:30 PM
 |