Chia-Chi Teng is claiming Representative Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is using the Committee’s government website as his own campaign propaganda tool. Teng and Chaffetz are locked in a primary election battle to be settled on June 28.
In May, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s website created a web page titled “Getting Results.” A second page with updates was created with same title last Friday. On Monday, Chaffetz’s campaign started pushing a new online video. The new ad contains similar content as the Committee’s website, including the catchphrase “Delivering Results.”
“It’s shameful how Mr. Chaffetz is using a taxpayer-funded government website as his personal campaign website. As chairman, he’s supposed to be using his power to protect taxpayers from government fraud and abuse; instead, he’s abusing his power,” said Republican candidate Chia-Chi Teng.
“He’s been in D.C. so long that he’s become the very thing he claims to detest. Instead of balancing the budget, he’s now voting for trillion-dollar deficit spending bills, and instead of fighting for taxpayers, he’s sticking them with the bill for messaging his campaign should be developing on its own.”
It is against federal law for elected officials to use government resources and staff time to perform campaign tasks. It is also against federal law for campaign staff and government staff to coordinate messaging or for campaign staff to use content developed by the government staff.
“Mr. Chaffetz is already taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from out-of-state lobbyists, unions and organizations appearing before his committee. Abusing his control over the content on the Committee’s website and making taxpayers foot the bill just adds insult to injury,” said Teng.
There are discrepancies between the Committee’s website and Chaffetz’s campaign advertisement too. The Committee’s website says that Rafael Moure-Eraso, former Chairman of the Chemical Safety Board, “resigned,” but Chaffetz’s campaign video incorrectly says he was “fired” and fails to mention his departure was only three months before the end of his five-year term.
“It’s bad enough Mr. Chaffetz is making taxpayers de facto donors to his coordinated campaign, but his campaign is also being deceitful. Mr. Chaffetz is overstating his role. He’s claiming too much credit while simultaneously ignoring our calls to be more transparent with his own campaign finances,” said Teng.
Last month, Teng filed a complaint with the FEC to review Chaffetz’s campaign finances, including whether the half-million dollars Chaffetz has reimbursed himself was for legitimate campaign expenses and was proper, whether trips in campaign vehicles outside of the 3rd Congressional District to Laguna Beach and Phoenix were proper, and if personal collection and use of an estimated half-million airline reward miles by Chaffetz related to campaign expenditures is proper.
“These sketchy decisions by Mr. Chaffetz are more reason why it’s time for a change. As the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he should be fighting against waste and abuse of government money, not causing more of it,” said Teng.