SAN DIEGO, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the paid-to-campaign scandal escalates, Congressman Brian Bilbray's (R-CA) embattled Chief of Staff Steve Danon, who has been campaigning full time since 2009 while working as a full-time Chief of Staff, again refused to release calendar, email, telephone and cell phone records to a second media outlet, according to today's North County Times.
"Steve Danon expects ethical and transparent behavior from everyone but himself," said K.B. Forbes, campaign manager for Carl Hilliard, candidate for the same Third District San Diego County Supervisorial seat Danon is seeking. "Taxpayers need to know Danon has engaged in the same scurrilous behavior he so loathes."
Today, Forbes revealed the fact that Danon, who has repeatedly and strongly attacked a retiring San Diego County Supervisor for taking an "unethical" travel junket to Vienna, Austria, took two of his own travel junkets: one to China for a month in 2009 and a weeklong trip to Saudi Arabia in 2010.
From March 19 through April 17, 2009, Danon went on a junket from the U.S. to Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai according to a Personal Disclosure Form Danon filed with the U.S. Congress. Forbes noted that Xian is primarily a tourist site where the soldiers of the Terracotta Army are located.
From February 12 through February 20, 2010, Danon flew to Saudi Arabia through London for a weeklong junket, again according to Danon's Personal Disclosure Form. It appears both trips were junkets paid by the respective foreign governments.
"Danon won't release the days and times he allegedly worked full-time for Congressman Bilbray and won't allow them to be verified against campaign and personal cell phone records," said Forbes. "What is Danon hiding? Was he dialing for dollars while on the federal clock? Was he making or taking phone calls on his campaign cell phone during the congressional work day? These are serious questions and Danon needs to clear the air."
Congressional House Ethics Rules require "careful records" distinguishing work time from campaigning time and clearly state that compensation be "reduced proportionately with any reduction in the employee's time." Danon's salary of $168,411 has never been reduced. Danon was stunningly paid more in 2011 than the Chief of Staff of the Speaker of the House John Boehner.