By Phil Ammann SaintPetersBlog.com, Special to SouthFloridaReporter.com, July 22, 2015 – From the outset, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson may have violated congressional ethics rules in his U.S. Senate campaign, according a former legal counsel for House leadership.
By holding a July 9 campaign-related interview from his House office, the brash Orlando liberal may have broken rules prohibiting congressional members from engaging in campaign activity within an official office space.
Grayson’s conversation with Huffington Post Live was held on the morning he announced entering Florida’s Democratic Senate primary. Huffpost Live reporter Alyona Minkovski focused on Grayson’s decision to enter the race.
The freshly minted Senate candidate began the interview sitting at a computer, with flags in his Washington, D.C., office clearly visible behind him. Later, Grayson goes from appearing on the screen as a video interview to “on the phone” without a break or explanation. The 15-minute interview focused on his Senate campaign.
Joe Schoffstall of the Washington Free Beacon spoke with former in-house counsel on ethics Elliot Berke, a managing partner at Berke Farah LLP, who noted that engaging in interviews and other campaign activity from an official office is expressly forbidden.
“There’s a very clear prohibition on engaging in campaign activity within an official office or using official resources,” Berke said.