INDIANAPOLIS – Congressman Rokita entered this race vowing to take on the “professional political class,” but he’s exactly the type of Washington career politician he likes to rail against. After having spent nearly his entire adult life as a politician, he sees nothing wrong with using his taxpayer-funded office for political gain.
Congressman Rokita has spent more than 20 years on a taxpayer-funded salary and has held public office since 2002. Throughout his tenure, he’s repeatedly used the resources of his elected offices as leverage to climb the next rung on the political ladder. He has been accused of pay-to-play schemes, including one in which he received more than $150,000 from the tribal gaming lobby, and he has spent more than $3 million over the last 12 years on taxpayer-funded political communications, especially when running for higher office. He’s also used campaign funds to enrich himself and his family, including as payments for flights in his private plane.
- Congressman Rokita talks about defeating the “professional political class” but has never stopped receiving a taxpayer-funded paycheck since 1997.
- An AP report last week revealed that Congressman Rokita has spent nearly $3 million in franked mail and other taxpayer-funded communications over the past 12 years, including $1.1 million since joining Congress in 2011, a number that “dwarfs” the rest of the Indiana delegation.
- Congressman Rokita’s spending of taxpayer dollars tends to peak when running for higher office. Recently, Congressman Rokita violated House rules when airing radio ads for a Kokomo event in an Ohio media market that bleeds into Fort Wayne.
- Congressman Rokita was accused of engaging in a pay-to-play scandal after accepting $160,000 from the tribal gaming lobby while sponsoring legislation to strip protections from tribal gaming workers.
- Congressman Rokita was hit with a House Ethics complaint after an AP report claimed that he had pressured staff in his official congressional office to “volunteer” on his campaign.
- Congressman Rokita directed more than $100,000 in campaign funds to an LLC that he co-owns to pay for air travel in his private plane.
- Congressman Rokita has also kept his sister on his campaign payroll for years, paying her nearly $75,000 from his campaign committee since 2012.
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