Did Nancy Pelosi inadvertently cross a legal line?
February 9th, 2012
05:58 PM ET
11 years ago

Did Nancy Pelosi inadvertently cross a legal line?

Washington (CNN) - Did House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi inadvertently cross a legal line by asking for political contributions while on federal property?

At a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday, Pelosi was making the case for campaign finance reform and said Democrats will disclose donors to their political groups, even when the law doesn't require it.

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During her comments, she said "by the way we're asking people to contribute to us if they want to elect more reformers to Congress so we can do away with super PACs – we can do away with secret contributions."

You don't normally hear a lawmaker say the words "we're asking people to contribute" while standing inside the U.S. Capitol. The law prohibits any kind of fundraising on federal grounds.

Two legal experts on campaign finance laws consulted by CNN say she could be in violation of the law.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said she was not soliciting funds; she was merely discussing what she tells donors when she does.

"The comment was very clearly referring to our efforts to disclose, reform and amend. Reporters have repeatedly asked the Leader how to square fundraising and reform policy so that's why she said we have to raise money to elect more reformers. That is her pitch to supporters," Hammill said.

In fact, later in the press conference, Pelosi said "our pitch is support us if you want to elect reformers to do away with these PACs."

Filed under: Congress • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    The McCain-Feingold Act, Public Law 107-155. is United States federal law that regulates the financing of political campaigns.

    What happend to integrity ?

    February 9, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. Larry in Houston

    She was not soliciting funds , she was merely discussing what she tells donors. Geesh !

    February 9, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  3. Oh noess

    That can't be true...politicians have the highest moral and legal standards...

    February 9, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. Abnguy

    She thought the law did not apply to her.

    February 9, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Ken

    Sure, she is a bought politician like they all are. I doubt anything will be done about it.

    February 9, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. Pete

    The former speaker said and I quote "We're asking people to contribute." That is a blatant fundraising language. Nancy Pelosi is no political novice and realized what she had done before she had even finished saying it. She did a great job of running the ole' shell game but, there is absolutely no question in my mind that she was appealing to potential donors.

    February 9, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Conrack

    If she did, she would have to wait in line with the rest of Congress in order to get booked.

    February 9, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Campaign finance laws were shot down on "federal property", so let the Justices tell her she crossed that so-called legal line.

    February 9, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  9. Como

    Why should she care if she illegally solicited campaign contributions on government property, she is the mother of the King.

    February 9, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. Kina

    I really wish she would retire already.

    February 9, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. Joey

    Pelosi is one of those Dems that can do and say whatever she wants, even if it makes no sense and still be worshiped by the left. Her base is extreme left which only cares about intentions and not results.

    February 10, 2012 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  12. julien vergara

    Same old arrogant. Shd know the rules

    February 10, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  13. charles willcox

    Seems to me she did nothing at all that really would be termed solicitation. "Our" is a fairly nebulous term and not specific to an intent to direct an activity in this conversational setting

    February 10, 2012 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  14. ms

    They should do away anything Karl Rove thinks is a good idea. Super pac and gps are nothing but under handed money laundering scheme. I don't understand how something like that got passed in the first place...but since it did, why is there a negative spin put on it when Obama seeks to get one. I guess it's only ok if you're republican? Hmm that's not really fair and balanced for independents and democrats is it?

    February 10, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  15. ctguy123

    Yeah, Pelosi, enjoy all that Mastercard IPO dough you have. Nice to get insider information and not go to jail for it.

    February 10, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  16. Jerry

    What else is new with this desperate Bobble Head. She and her Messiah (the current president) are desperate to TRY and stay relevant. These two are probably, along with Reed, the biggest pickpockets in the USA.

    God help us with this moronic/hypocritical leadership!!!

    February 10, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  17. Marienkaefer

    But it's OK for all those unions to extract money from their members against their wishes and pour it into causes the members don't support. No one need ask any questions about that, right, Nancy!

    February 10, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  18. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    If that was what you call fundraising, then what do you call what Karl Rove did every day from his office in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

    February 10, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |