RNLA Files Complaint Against DNC

Sep 19, 2011, 09:00 ET from Republican National Lawyers Association

Committee Chairman & House Member Misuses Footage Violating Ethics Rules

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) has requested that the Office of Congressional Ethics investigate Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (acting as Chair of the Democratic National Committee) use of video footage of President Obama's address on September 8, 2011 to a joint session of Congress in television campaign commercials and online video advertisements.   House of Representatives Ethics Rule 5 clearly states that live broadcast recordings in the House chamber "may not be used for any political purpose."

The ads show President Obama speaking in the House chamber as Speaker John Boehner and Vice President Joe Biden sit and listen.  The television ads are named "14 Months" to indicate the time left until the 2012 presidential election.  Furthermore, the ads were broadcast in key swing states, such as Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

The DNC's Web site also has a video stream that shows the President's speech to Congress in its entirety.  The DNC issued a press release about the video advertisement which promotes a new Web site www.americanjobsact.com, which is clearly political in nature.  Furthermore, the Web site advocates for President Obama's political initiatives and solicits contact information of visitors.

According to the RNLA's letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics, the improper display of the House proceedings is yet another instance in "a disturbing pattern of President Obama's misuse of official resources for political purposes."  In fact, Representative Schultz actually voted in 2008 to establish the Office of Congressional Ethics.  David Norcross, chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association, said that "it is certainly worth noting and has been typical of the House Democrat leadership to create rules they have no intention of adhering to themselves."

To read the RNLA complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics, click here.

SOURCE Republican National Lawyers Association