U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) has provided both his wife and son close to $56,000 from his main campaign committee since 2019, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records examined by The Daily Caller.
Rush, who is known as a former Black Panther leader elected to Congress 15 times, will be leaving office in January.
Between the dates of June 2021 and March 2022, Rush gave his wife, Paulette Holloway Rush, close to $11,000, as stated by the documents. On June 17, 2021 his wife, who is a church minister, received a $3,600 payment from her husband.
Documents also revealed that Rush paid his son close to $45,000 since 2019 for “field services” and “field operation services,” which apparently include door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and event work.
Typically, volunteers are thought to complete these tasks in a campaign.
Apparently Rush’s son, Jeffrey, faced a 6 month prison term back in 2008 for having sex with female prisoners while serving as a the facility’s head of security in the state of Illinois. Herald & Review reported that Rush’s son was detained in 2011 once he was found guilty for violating the terms of his probation for a previous sexual offense.
A report by the Daily Caller shared that the donations were given by the Citizen for Rush committee, which has a Chicago mailing address and raised at least $220,000 during the recent election season.
Technically, you can offer campaign donations to family members, so long as they receive fair market value compensation. However, ethical authorities “frown upon” the practice. Fair market value is “really difficult to determine,” Kendra Arnold said an executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, while speaking to the Daily Caller.
Arnold, whose nonprofit aims to promote accountability and transparency in the government said that “When a candidate contracts with an independent person they’re not related to, obviously they’re going to negotiate for the best price and the fair market price,”
“But when they negotiate with a family member, it’s a lot harder to determine whether or not they did that.”
The only time a member of Congress can spend campaign cash to pay relatives is “if the family member is providing a bona fide service to the campaign and the payments represent the fair market value of those services,” an FEC spokesperson told the Daily Caller.
Ironically enough, this is definitely not the first time Rush has provided campaign donations to his family, as the Washington Free Beacon revealed that he gave four family members close to $100,000 during the 2016 election. The family members were identified as Rush’s then-wife Carolyn, his son, brother, mother, and sister-in-law.
In fact, Rush has sent his ex-wife a significant amount of money since 2002. The Washington Free Beacon revealed that Carolyn Rush received cash for “consulting services” meanwhile his sister was compensated for managing the business and working as a receptionist.
A number of Democrats are desperate to replace Rush in a reliably blue district this cycle.
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Sources: Dailycaller, Yournews, Freebeacon