South OC Rep. Mimi Walters’ chief of staff resigns after federal indictment
– LA Times
“Rep. Mimi Walters’ chief of staff, David Bowser, has resigned following news of federal corruption charges related to his work in another congressional office.
“The charges against him involve incidents alleged to have occurred in the office of former Georgia Congressman Paul Broun in 2012-2014, before Rep. Walters became a member of Congress,” the Irvine Republican’s office said in a statement Thursday morning.
The Justice Department released the indictments Wednesday, including one count of obstruction of proceedings, one count of theft of government property, one count of concealment of material facts and five counts of making false statements.
The charges stem from Bowser’s time as chief of staff to Broun, a Georgia Republican, and allegations that Broun used official funds to pay for a campaign consultant and Bowser tried to block an ethics probe into the matter.
Prosecutors allege that Republican campaign consultant Brett O’Donnell was paid nearly $44,000 in congressional funds. O’Donnell, whose work included debate prep for Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, pleaded guilty last September in an ethics case involving Broun.
The House Ethics Committee investigation looking into the matter ended in January 2015 when Broun left office. The former congressman has not been charged with a crime and is seeking his old seat again.
In 2014, Walters was elected to her first term with 65% of the vote in her Orange County district. She was picked by colleagues to represent the freshman Republicans in House leadership and serves on the House Judiciary and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.
This year Walters is vying for the seat against her 2014 Republican challenger, Mission Viejo City Council member Greg Raths, and two Democrats, anesthesiologist Max Gouron and businessman Ron Varasteh.”
…Continue reading @ LA Times
Ms. Walters represents the 45th Congressional District in Orange County, California.
– Can we say lack of judgement here? Ms. Walters could not even pick a Californian as a Chief of Staff?
Whose choice was it? Did Boehner pick the Chief of State and was it part of grooming her for TPA cheerleading? I do not recall Ms. Walters running on a platform supporting TPA. The district is a high tech hotbed yet we have no representation in Congress on the issue, much less concern about TPA.
We can see that this is part of a systemic problem in Congress, where newly elected representatives to Congress go to Washington DC, only to hire entrenched DC congressional operatives who have long standing deals and agreements with all the players there. A local congressperson doesn’t stand a chance. A veritable congressional cartel as it were.
This practice has to be questioned, or the whole point of term limits is moot. What’s the point of changing the Congress if the staff stays the same?
Former Paul Broun chief of staff indicted on eight counts
– Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice on Wednesday announced that the former chief of staff to then-U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has been indicted in connection with misusing taxpayer money to finance campaign activities and obstructing a congressional investigation into the matter.
The eight-count indictment charges David Bowser, Broun’s longtime top staffer, with one count of obstruction of proceedings, one count theft of government property, one count of concealment of material facts and five counts of making false statements.
Bowser’s arraignment and initial appearance have yet to be scheduled. The Justice Department said the FBI is investigating the case.
Bowser, now the chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., did not respond to requests for comment.
The announcement came seven months after former GOP strategist and debate coach Brett O’Donnell pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Macon to lying to investigators about his relationship with Broun’s office.
O’Donnell listed Bowser as “Person A” and Broun as “Congressman A” in his plea, details that matched up with an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation that named both men. Bowser was quoted in the plea for telling O’Donnell that the Office of Congressional Ethics can go “f—- themselves” and that consultant should falsely maintain that he was a volunteer debate coach for Broun’s campaign.
Official funds for members of Congress cannot go toward campaign activity, though official staff often volunteer for campaigns in their free time. Many staffers also are paid by a member’s campaign and official accounts, and Broun did this for some staff but not O’Donnell. The debate coach was paid $43,750 from 2012 to 2014 from Broun’s taxpayer-funded office account, and he performed similar services for other members of Congress.
Bowser and Broun both told investigators and said publicly that O’Donnell worked for Broun from 2012 to 2014 as a consultant for $2,500 per month to help sharpen Broun’s communications skills on official matters such as floor speeches, while volunteering for Broun’s 2012 House re-election campaign and 2014 Senate bid.
The case has marked the first time someone has been charged with lying to the Office of Congressional Ethics, a quasi-independent body that refers cases to the member-run U.S. House Ethics Committee.
Broun said he is “disappointed” about the indictment and added that he is “not aware of any ethical violations by my staff at any time.”
“I have cooperated fully with the investigators at every step. Throughout this process, it was made clear that I was not the subject of the investigation. Everything I did was completely above board and the investigation has proven that,” Broun said in a statement.
The news comes seven weeks before Republican primary voters in Georgia’s ninth congressional district hit the polls. Broun, a tea party favorite, is running against incumbent Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, for the northeast Georgia seat.
The indictment has already become a campaign issue for Broun.
“All roads in this criminal case lead back to Paul Broun. When is he going to take responsibility for abusing taxpayers hard earned money?” said Collins Campaign Manager Carmen Foskey.
Broun shot back, “I find it also disappointing that Mr. Collins would politicize this event in Mr. Bowser’s life and seek to use it for his political gain.”
The House Ethics Committee investigation looking into the matter ended in January 2015 when Broun left office after he finished fifth the Republican primary for U.S. Senate the year before. It could be revived if Broun wins the May 24 primary and later the general election.”
…Continue reading @ AJC.com
Mimi Walters’ Chief of Staff Resigns After Indictment
“Rep. Mimi Walter’s chief of staff, David Bowser, 45, resigned on Wednesday following news of federal corruption charges and indictments related to his work in a different congressional office.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bowser’s eight indictment counts include one count of obstruction of proceedings, one count of theft of government property, one count of concealment of material facts, and five counts of making false statements. The charges reportedly stem from Bowser’s time as chief of staff to Rep. George Broun (R-GA), and allege that Broun had blurred lines between official and campaign work by using official taxpayer funds to hire a campaign consultant.
Brett O’Donnell, who has helped Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann prepare for debates, was reportedly paid $44,000 in congressional funds.
The House Ethics Committee, which was investigating the matter, completed its probe in January of 2015, the same year Rep. Broun left office. Broun has reportedly not been charged with a crime. The FBI Is investigating the case.”
…Continue reading @ Breitbart
– The comments section is excellent.
Chief of Staff for Mimi Walters (R-CA45) steps down under ethics cloud
– OC Breeze
“David Bowser, Chief of Staff for Mimi Walters, faces eight counts that include obstruction of proceedings, and theft of government property.
According to a report from Todd Ruger at Roll Call, Chief of Staff David Bowser has stepped down from his position with the office of Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA45) amid accusations that he improperly spent money on a campaign consultant on behalf of his former employer, Paul Broun, who is not currently in office.
The accusation of impropriety does not include any activity since he began working for Walters.
The 45th California Congressional District represented by Walters stretches from Santa Ana and Villa Park in the West to beyond Trabuco Canyon in the east, and from Anaheim Hills in the north to Launa Hills and Coto de Caza in the south. Rogers was first elected to Congress last year. Prior to that, she served as California State Senator for the 37th District from 2012 to 2015. John Moorlach, former Orange County Supervisor, now represents the 37th District.”
…See more @ OC Breeze
Who is Congresswoman Mimi Walters?
Morning Joe: Rep. Mimi Walters Discusses Trade Promotion Authority
– Morning Joe
– Video shows Mimi Walters full support of Trade Promotion Authority Bill (TPA).
See more here @ Youtube
Exclusive — BUSTED: Freshman GOP Rep Admits She Hasn’t Read Obamatrade, Backs MSNBC’s Defense Of Deal Secrecy
“Freshman GOP congresswoman Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) has been on television pushing Obamatrade—appearing Monday on Morning Joe on MSNBC to do so—but her office admits publicly she hasn’t read the bill she wants to fast-track through Congress.
Walters, whom Mika Brzezinski noted is the official “liaison” between House GOP freshmen and Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team, appeared on Morning Joe to push Obamatrade. Walters said:
Currently, what we are working on is Trade Promotion Authority. That issue we expect to take up by the end of the month. And what Trade Promotion Authority, known as TPA, is it’s really the framework of giving the president the opportunity to negotiate trade agreements with other countries. It’s very, very important that we pass this piece of legislation. It’s bipartisan. One in five jobs in America are created because of free trade, 95 percent of consumers are outside of the United States and if America doesn’t take the lead on trade then China is going to. I want America to take the lead and set the standards on trade.
But when Breitbart News asked Walters’ spokeswoman Christine Hardman later on Monday—after she blasted out video of the congresswoman’s appearance on Morning Joe,highlighting her support for Obamatrade—if Walters has been to the secret room inside the Capitol to read the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that TPA would fast track, collectively known as Obamatrade, Hardman confirmed Walters has not been there to read it.”
…Continue reading @ Breitbart