A firm headed by Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband continued to be the largest recipient of her campaign spending in the second quarter of 2020. Payments to the E Street Group now top one million dollars, creating the appearance that Omar is milking her campaign fund for her own financial benefit.
In forms filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Monday, Omar reported that another $228,111 was paid to the E Street group, owned by Tim Mynett who she married in March after denying for months that the two were having an affair.
Omar’s second quarter spending was $686,271, meaning Mynett’s firm raked in a third of the total. Although it is not illegal for members of Congress to employ relatives on their campaign, the scale of Mynett’s compensation from the Omar campaign is unprecedented.
The report contains hundreds of pages of small-dollar donations. Mynett’s main role appears to be to raise money on the internet, much of which is funneled back to his firm.
The relationship raises other issues. In a Complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on August 28, 2019, NLPC alleged that Omar made personal use of campaign funds by reimbursing Mynett’s expenses while he traveled around the country with her.
According to the Complaint, “It appears that Respondent Mynett’s travel as reported by Ilhan for Congress may have been unrelated, or only partially related, to Omar’s campaign. If Ilhan for Congress reimbursed Mynett’s LLC for travel so that Rep. Omar would have the benefit of Mynett’s romantic companionship, the expenditure must be considered personal in nature.”
NLPC’s Complaint also alleged that Omar’s campaign failed to itemize travel reimbursements to Mynett. FEC regulations require that for travel exceeding $500, campaigns must report the individual receiving the reimbursement as the payee, and report the payments aggregating over $200 of any one vendor, such as airlines and hotels. Omar’s campaign simply reported lump sum payments to E Street Group for “travel expenses.”
Meanwhile, Antone Melton-Meaux, one of Omar’s Democratic primary opponents, raised $3.2 million in the second quarter, an astounding amount for a challenger.