Watchdog: Rep. Aaron Schock needs to "work less on abs," focus more on following campaign-finance laws

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 09/12/2012, 07:00pm

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A watchdog group slammed U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) Wednesday for not following federal campaign-finance laws.
[Photo by Dave McKinney]

SPRINGFIELD-An Illinois congressman eying a potential 2014 run for governor drew criticism Wednesday from a left-leaning, campaign-finance watchdog for allegedly improperly soliciting a donation and using campaign funds for personal use.
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock was one of two Illinois lawmakers targeted by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) in its “Most Corrupt Members of Congress” report, which also took aim at Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). Thirteen Republicans and seven Democrats made the group’s list.
In zinging Schock with a “dishonorable mention” in its list, CREW accused him of improperly soliciting a donation to a super PAC and using his political funds for a stay at a five-star hotel in Greece and for home exercise DVDs.
“Rep. Schock’s nave disregard for campaign finance regulations reflects discreditably on the office he holds,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a prepared statement. “The only reason he’s been able to avoid accountability is the sheer ineptitude of the Federal Election Commission.”
A call and email to Schock’s spokesman Wednesday was not returned.
CREW cited a report by Roll Call that alleged Schock asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to contribute $25,000 to an anti-incumbent super PAC called the Campaign for Primary Accountability to help U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) oust 10-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL) in last March’s primary.
Federal election law permits $5,000 contributions on such requests.
The group also slammed Schock for billing his campaign for $154,466 in questionable expenditures in 2008 and 2010, including a stay at a five-star luxury hotel in Greece and a series of P90X workout DVDs.
“Rep. Schock needs to work less on his abs and more on following the law,” Sloan said. “Donors to his campaign aren’t supposed to be financing his lavish lifestyle.”
Kirk, meanwhile, was criticized by the group for promoting “legislation benefiting [lobbying] clients of his girlfriend.” A spokesman for the senator did not respond to an email late Wednesday seeking comment on the group’s report.