On Thursday, the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board ruled that Representative Ilhan Omar violated campaign finance rules when she used campaign money for out of state travel.
The Democrat lawmaker from Minnesota was ordered to reimburse her campaign committee $3,500 for the funds she misused and also had to pay a $500 fine. Omar stated that she was glad the process was over and that a decision had been made.
“I’m glad this process is complete and that the Campaign Finance Board has come to a resolution on this matter.”
As the board stated in their report, there were “multiple occasions” when Omar’s campaign “improperly paid” for out of state travel. Omar apparently thought the regulators wouldn’t look too closely at expense items which appeared to be politically related on the surface. She wasn’t expecting every line item to go under the microscope.
In 2017, Omar’s campaign paid around $600 for plane tickets so Omar could attend a meeting for the People for the American Way’s America’s Cabinet in New York.” According to the regulators,
“While Rep. Omar would not have been asked to participate in the America’s Cabinet had she not been elected to the Minnesota House, she did not attend this event to assist her in her performance of her duties as a legislator.”
The report also mentioned that another $1,500 payment was improper because Omar could not sufficiently prove how a non-campaign related expense was a justified exception. The committee, regulators write, “failed to meet it’s burden to prove” a particular payment to an accounting firm “was a permitted non-campaign disbursement.”
Omar has plans to keep it from happening again:
“In addition to complying with the Board’s findings, I plan on closing the account from my State House race and distributing the funds to organizations that help train first-time candidates to run for office — so that the next generation of candidates and their teams know how to adequately track and report campaign expenses. I also believe we need to dedicate more resources to our campaign finance agencies — and I look forward to supporting these efforts.”
Democrats like Omar are always complaining about money in politics, yet most of them are violating campaign finance regulations. It seems to be a pattern of deceit.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was also caught in one of these campaign finance scandals a couple months ago.
Some would argue that these freshmen representatives are just inexperienced and don’t know how to properly handle campaign funds. However, the mistakes that both Rep. Omar and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez made seem like more than just mistakes.
Accident or not, it is good to see people who break the law receive justice.
Hopefully this will teach them that they’re not above the law, though it wouldn’t surprise most conservatives if these same people come under scrutiny for violating the same laws again in the future.