Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Cal., already is under investigation for charges that she broke House rules in forcing House aides to do political and personal work for her. And now she may be in trouble again. This time it would be for having taxpayer-funded House aides do work on political redistricting last year, again breaking House rules, knowledgeable sources told Politico
Congressmen aren’t allowed to pressure aides to do political work, and they aren’t allowed to use government resources, including staff, for campaign purposes.
Sources told Politico that Richardson’s congressional aides researched information about communities outside her district, put together a workshop to coach constituents before a public meeting of California’s independent redistricting commission, and wrote an outline of what those constituents should say in the meeting at Long Beach City Hall in April 2011.
It was a case of Richardson orchestrating the redistricting work, rather than the aides taking up the cause on their own, the sources said. Several of them indicated that House investigators have broadened their investigation to include the redistricting issue.
After ethics investigators began their hunt on her trail, Richardson worked to create the appearance of a wall between her aides’ official duties and campaign work. But the sources said she didn’t request that her staffers stop their political activity.
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