Tom Cotton: Ethics Complaint Against Arkansas Rep. Dismissed

By: Val Powell - April 9, 2014

The Office of Congressional Ethics or OCE unanimously rejected an ethics complaint filed on October 2013 by the Arkansas Democratic Party against Arkansas Congressman and aspiring GOP Senator Tom Cotton. The complaint alleged that Cotton violated House rules by soliciting funds while at the U.S. Capitol.

Democrats claimed that Cotton committed the violation when he conducted a radio interview with right-wing talk show host Hugh Hewitt and made an appeal to listeners for campaign support through his Senate campaign website. However, Cotton maintained that he was outside the premises of the U.S. House of Representatives during the interview.

The OCE voted 6-0 to dismiss the complaint after the body investigated the formal charge, declaring that “there is not substantial reason” to conclude that Rep. Cotton was indeed inside the U.S. Capitol building when he asked listeners for campaign contributions.

According to a letter subsequently issued by the OCE, the committee “considers this matter closed” as a result of its examination and review, which is also “consistent with the recommendation in the committee’s referral”.

Cotton’s Senate campaign released copies of the complaint dismissal on Wednesday, April 9th. However, Cotton’s troubles are far from over as another complaint has surfaced regarding the disclosure of the identities of his consulting service clients. The complaint, which was filed by Arkansas Chief Justice Jack Holt – a Democrat – questioned the freshman lawmaker’s work for business consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, Inc. Cotton allegedly did not identify any of the clients for whom he provided professional services “in excess of $5,000”, which Holt deems worthy of a formal investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Democratic Party of Arkansas lawyer Benton Smith stated that the complaint is an urgent matter of transparency and public accountability because Cotton’s constituents deserve to know whether their Rep. Cotton considers himself “above the law”. Smith added that Cotton is required to provide a full accounting of his clients from the time he worked as a Washington consultant in order for the people of Arkansas to have the information they deserve to know when they vote in November.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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Val PowellI'm a content writer, blogger, SEO enthusiast, visual artist, world traveler and lover of spicy foods. I also live and work in Queens, New York. FOLLOW ME on Twitter! @webnewsreporter or LIKE ME on Facebook! webnewsreporter

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  • JamesR123

    Tom Cotton is a rising star in the GOP. The Democrats are trying to take him out before he get too much momentum going. As soon as this next issue is resolved the Democrats will file another demand for an investigation–maybe one of his staff members didn’t leave a big enough tip at Denny’s. At some point they’ll have enough where they can say “Tom Cotton, the most investigated House Member in history. Why is that? Do we really know him? Vote for his opponent this November. (Paid for by the Association of People who want Tom Cotton Investigated. Not affiliated with any particular political party. Send any media requests or donations to Benton Smith).”

    The last paragraph has to be especially galling:

    “Democratic Party of Arkansas lawyer Benton Smith stated that the complaint is an urgent matter of transparency and public accountability because Cotton’s constituents deserve to know whether their Rep. Cotton considers himself “above the law”. Smith added that Cotton is required to provide a full accounting of his clients from the time he worked as a Washington consultant in order for the people of Arkansas to have the information they deserve to know when they vote in November.”

    “Transparency?” From the Democratic Party of “There nothing to see here. Move along.” The IRS scandal alone makes Smith’s statement laughable.