The Republican-led House ethics committee will not penalize three congressmen who solicited campaign funds from the financial industry in 2009 right before they cast key votes on banking regulation, The New York Times reports
. The ethics panel this week dismissed cases brought by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics against two Republicans and one Democrat, asserting their fundraisers were routine and raised no appearance of vote-buying.
“The decision came as a relief to lawmakers,” the Times reports. “If the ethics committee had found violations, ground rules for fundraising would have radically changed in Washington, where popular restaurants and bars around Capitol Hill sometimes host two or three events each night.”
Congressional watchdogs said the decision guarantees business as usual in the House even under a new Republican majority.
The representatives cleared of wrongdoing are: Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York; Tom Price, Republican of Georgia; and John Campbell, Republican of California.
All three used outside fundraising consultants who, in turn, invited financial industry players to campaign donor events.
Lobbyists and executives attended fundraisers that were, in Crowley’s case, held the same evening as votes on amendments to the Dodd-Frank overhaul of finance regulation.
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