Democratic House Leader Pays Campaign Office Rent to His Brother

Michael Gartland reports in the New York Post today that Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) pays his brother rent from his campaign fund. From the article:

Crowley has paid at least $69,700 since 2007 to ­Killean Enterprises LLC, which is controlled by his brother, lobbyist John “Sean” Crowley.

As chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Joseph Crowley is the fourth-highest ranking member of his party in the House.

House rules allow the campaigns of Members to rent office space from family members under certain circumstances, but Crowley rents space outside his Congressional district. Also from the story:

“It’s not physically in his district — that would be a key point,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center. “What he uses it for — it’s as old as politics — it’s called a slush fund. And what do you know? It goes to a family-connected entity.”

Crowley also serves as the leader of the corrupt Queens Democratic machine. He is an ally of Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) who Boehm has called the most corrupt member of Congress. Several Queens politicians have gone to jail after exposés in New York newspapers based in information provided by the National Legal and Policy Center.

Crowley, who has been in Congress since 1999, serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which is a license to rake in campaign contributions from special interests. His latest disclosure shows he has nearly a million dollars in cash on hand in his campaign fund. Crowley represents a gerrymandered district where there is no real competition on elections day. He is typical of a longtime incumbent in a safe district with a surplus of unnecessary campaign funds. Over the years this has prompted any number of schemes to launder money into a member’s own pocket.