Democrats Campaigning on the Taxpayers' Dime, Republican Group Says

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Talk about ethics? Yes, let's do that, says the National Republican Congressional Committee. Republicans accuse Rep. Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat, of violating House ethics rules by directing her staff to prepare a "report" on alleged Republican corruption -- then using the report to raise campaign cash.

Republicans say Slaughter, the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, is trying to raise money by using political propaganda that was prepared by House Rules Committee staffers and funded by the American taxpayer.

The propaganda masquerades as an official House Rules Committee staff report, and Slaughter mentions it in a fund-raising email she sent out this week.

The email begins, "Last week, my office from the House Rules Committee released a report, 'America for Sale: The Cost of Republican Corruption.'" Slaughter includes a link to the "report" in her email message, along with a link for "contributions."

Likewise, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee began a recent fundraising newsletter by referring to the same "report." "A new report released this week from Democrats on the House Rules Committee, led by Rep. Louise Slaughter, hits the nail on the head," the DCCC said. After summarizing the report's findings, the DCCC invites recipients to "contribute for change."

House Ethics Rules expressly prohibit using official government resources for campaign or political purposes, the NRCC noted in a press release.

"Congresswoman Slaughter and National Democrats are engaged in a coordinated effort to raise money using political propaganda that was put together using official government resources," said National Republican Congressional Committee Communications Director Carl Forti.

"Though it is not surprising that National Democrats are perpetuating their stunning ethics hypocrisy, it is galling that they would ask taxpayers to fund it."

In response to accusations that she violated House Ethics Rules by trying to raise money from a Rules Committee report on the Republican "culture of corruption," Rep. Slaughter denied suggestions that she was "bringing politics into this," the Capitol Hill newspaper, Roll Call, reported.

Slaughter released the Rules Committee "report," entitled "America for Sale: The Cost of Republican Corruption" last week.

According to her website, the report documents "the unprecedented level of corruption which has come to define Congress and the federal government under Republican leadership."

It purportedly offers a "comprehensive review and analysis of the major ethics scandals which have shaken Washington during the last five years of Republican rule, and reveals how deep the culture of corruption nurtured by the Republican Party's leadership goes."

Slaughter said the report "tries to quantify the damage the Republican Congress and Bush White House have inflicted on our country."

The National Republican Congressional Committee notes that House rules bar the use of House resources -- including official staff time -- for soliciting contributions, drafting campaign speeches, statements, press releases or literature, among other things.

Slaughter's "congressional report on how America is being sold to the highest bidder" states that it was prepared by the House Rules Committee Democratic Staff.

As Democrats lob "corruption" charges at Republicans, the NRCC is keeping its own list of "corrupt Democrats."

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