CHICAGO, IL The National Legal and Policy Center(NLPC) promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action. This spring, NLPC reported that the House Ethics Committee“should have set a more forceful example in issuing sanctions against Representative Rush”, for violating House rules concerning outside financial activities of members.
The committee ordered Rush to repay $13,310 of his personal funds to the Treasury Department after an investigation was triggered by a probe by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. NLPC reported , “Given the facts, the sanctions appear to be slaps on the wrist.”
According to House investigators report, Rep. Rush violated House gift rules by keeping office space in Chicago’s Lake Meadows Shopping Center without paying any rent. He began leasing the office in 1989 when he was alderman of the 2nd ward. The ethics committee report put it this way:
“The landlord stopped asking for payment more than two decades ago, and Representative Rush never considered whether this informal, unstated arrangement was a gift he could not accept.”
Rush says he has used the space as storage for “junk” since 2008.
Voters are concerned that Rep. Rush's financial problems are the only reason the embattled incumbent is not retiring. He was also ordered a 15 percent wage garnishment of his congressional salary to repay a $1 million loan he secured to go towards his church.
Jimmy Lee Tillman, II, candidate for the 1st Congressional seat remarks, “The citizens of the 1st district deserves a representative that will work for the people and not just collect a check. For too long there has been taxation without representation.”