Rising GOP star, McMorris Rodgers, faces ethics probe
February 6th, 2014
04:43 PM ET
10 months ago

Rising GOP star, McMorris Rodgers, faces ethics probe

(CNN) - U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a rising political star who gave the Republican response to the State of the Union address last week, is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegations she improperly mixed campaign money and official office funds to finance a bid for a party leadership post.

McMorris Rodgers won the House Republican Conference chairmanship - the fourth-highest position in the GOP leadership - after the 2012 election, beating Rep. Tom Price of Georgia.

As one of only 19 women out of more than 230 House Republicans, McMorris Rodgers frequently serves as the top spokeswoman for the Republican Party's outreach to women.

The Ethics Committee revealed its investigation on Thursday in a statement. It acknowledging that the matter had been referred to the panel in December by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

A source close to the inquiry told CNN that a former staffer for McMorris Rodgers filed the initial complaint.

According to House Rules, members are allowed to use money from personal campaign accounts and official office allowances to cover costs incurred in leadership races. But there are restrictions on mixing the two and on the types of activities that can be paid for with the funds.

Nate Hodson, a spokesman for McMorris Rodgers, responded to the investigation.

"We are confident that every activity was compliant with all federal laws, House rules, and standards of conduct. We are fully cooperating and look forward to seeing this matter dismissed," he said.

In a statement to CNN, McMorris Rodgers' attorney called the investigation "an unfortunate rite of passage for many members of Congress" and said she has "fully cooperated" with the OCE.

"We are confident that the committee will ultimately find that the allegations were baseless and that her office always followed all laws, rules and standards of conduct," Eliot Berke said.

The Ethics Committee said it would announce its "course of action" by March 24.

soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Mike in Texas

    CNN considers any new Republican who makes their ticker a rising star. It really dilutes the meaning. It's like giving out a trophy to every kid who played even though their team or them was not good. Way over used CNN

    February 6, 2014 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Mike in Texas

    Jindal was a rising star
    Rubio was a rising star
    Rand Paul was a rising star
    (Insert Republican name here) is a rising star.

    LIke a Mail Merge file on Microsoft word. Insert the name and the rest is pre filled out.

    February 6, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. Namer rs

    Well, that didn't last long. Another morally challenged GOPper bites the dust.

    February 6, 2014 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. hellsyeahs

    it's like a broken record with republicans.

    February 6, 2014 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. belinda

    Unbelievable. I say that jokingly. What else ? It won't matter, they will still continue to get reelected.At our expense. At least it's out in the open, that the GOP have no scruples. They all support Christie principles. None. What kind of people vote for these people ? What kind of message does it send to their children ? That they don't care about anything, that doesn't directly benefit them. Political greed, is fueling a GOP lack of integrity, that hasn't been seen since the Nixon days

    February 6, 2014 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    I see nobody vetted this clown before she made her very important (lying) speech.

    February 6, 2014 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. Name. G

    Politicians don't know what ethics are.

    February 6, 2014 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  8. labman57

    Giving the GOP response to an Obama SOTU address has proven to be the equivalent of being chosen for the cover of Sports Illustrated - it's a political kiss of death.

    Of course, it could simply reflect poor judgement on the part of the RNC and other members of the Republican Party leadership w/respect to who they choose to be the face of the conservative/tea party/loose cannon wing nut factions of the GOP.

    February 6, 2014 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. Danlien

    Yea, they said that about Mia Love too, until she lost the Congressional election to Jim Matheson, a Democrat in....... UTAH!

    February 6, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  10. Liz the First

    I'm beginning to think it's mandatory for the party doctors to surgically remove your moral compass before you're allowed to run for any elected office as a republican.

    February 6, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  11. SBP

    Big surprise there.

    February 6, 2014 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  12. VJ

    Wake up People!!
    Awesome writing... GOP doesn't want to give a dime or little victory to him... It is very sad... Democrats should have learned a lesson from this... You can obstruct some policies, not all... GOP failed miserably... I hope 2014 would turn again for Democrats so that we can move our country forward... otherwise it will be even worse than today.
    Last 57 bills
    This year max of 20 to 25 bills
    2015 (if repub's have majority) – may be 10 bills
    2016 – none... period.

    February 6, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  13. Mary Ann

    The GOP is mass producing Palin and Bachmann.They will never learn!

    February 6, 2014 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  14. Vence

    Another republican in disgrace!

    February 6, 2014 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  15. S. B. Stein

    Well, when the charges stick, she'll be dropped from any consideration for hire posts or chairing committees.

    February 6, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    Wow, that was quick!

    February 6, 2014 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. sonnie3

    I am willing to see where the cookie crumbles before I bad mouth her. innocent until proven guilty is a good way to go.
    She do far has not done anything as serious as Antony Wiener or Billie Clinton or Hillary and her Benghazi Fiasco.

    February 6, 2014 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. cw

    Someone in the GOP is unethical??? Color me shocked.

    February 6, 2014 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  19. mike

    Thats how you qualify to be in the GOP

    February 6, 2014 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  20. yogi

    The GOP want to show so badly that they are not anti women, they will push any woman behind the mic, and behind a man behind the mic. Heck, they are probably willing to bring Palin back behind the mic, not that these women are coherent because that doesn't matter at all. The GOP thinks any woman will do.

    February 7, 2014 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  21. Al GoreLies

    Well, if it were to be a democrat, the media putas would leave this story alone. If it were to be a democRAT getting his reata sucked in the back of a limo while smoking crack, the media would do the same.
    time and time again, CNN wants us to remind us into believing that the best bet is that other puta Hillary for this country's next president.
    Ha! Mejor chupame un huevo!

    February 7, 2014 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  22. Jack33

    What is it with corruption and republicans? – those who pretend the Parties have "equal" problems are rather poorly read, and don't pay close attention at all to the facts.
    Seriously, it's at the point where the GOP needs to just GO AWAY.

    February 7, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  23. wendel

    is anyone really surprised???? finding repo that is not being investigated is the real challange

    February 7, 2014 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  24. Thomas

    U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has one of the worst environmental record in the house .

    I could care less about these allegations she juggled campaign funds to get to the top .

    February 7, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  25. jimatmad

    There are hardly any enforceable campaign laws left.

    How do you even find one to break?

    February 7, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
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