Rep. Mike Honda finds funds for ethics probe bills
Apr 11, 2016 04:42 AM EDT
Democratic US Representative Mike Honda was able to set up the funding that would be allocated in paying legal expenses. The money will be used to pay the bils related to an ethics probe.
According to Washington Times, the San Jose Democrat set up the fund after taking more than $200,000 out of his campaign war chest last year in an attempt to contribute these in paying legal expenses. Honda said in an interview that the move is something they did so they can cover the cost of legal help. One of his reasons to set up the fund was to let the potential donors know that the money would be used towards re-election to his ninth term and not legal bills.
NBC Bay Area wrote that the Office of Congressional Ethics said in their report last year that Honda's office staffers are doubling as campaign volunteers prepare the campaign materials. They used information from the office for campaign purposes and regularly discuss campaign matters at the office staff retreats. Therefore, this lead to the representative being under investigation to determine whether his office violated the rules of the House which prohibit politicians in using the taxpayers money to pay for office staff connected to campaign purposes.
Mercury News reported that the issue was handled by House Ethics Committee who forced Honda to spend atleast $86,000 on legal spending for the last three months of 2015. Furthermore, earlier in this year, he spent $109,000 for the same purposes. Honda's campaign manager, Michael Beckendorf said that legal and consultant fees would be minimal this time around. He added that Honda has not been called to testify before the ethics commission.
Honda is known to have locked a close race against Democratic challenger Ro Khanna for the 17th Congressional District that includes Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino and North San Jose. Khanna has lost 3.6% percentage points in 2014.