- The Washington Times - Monday, December 12, 2016

A conservative watchdog group plans to file an ethics complaint Monday against Rep. Keith Ellison, accusing the Minnesota Democrat of improperly using his official congressional resources in his bid to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

The Washington-based Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a nonprofit group, charges in the complaint it plans to file with the House ethics committee that Mr. Ellison violated rules by promoting his candidacy for DNC chair on several occasions on his official Twitter account.

“Throughout numerous posts, Ellison has asked for the support of his candidacy, thanked other members for their endorsement of his candidacy, linked to videos in which he spoke about why he wanted the political position, and linked to his campaign website,” Matthew G. Whitaker, FACT’s executive director, said in the complaint. “Ellison’s posts have included nearly every type of explicitly prohibited content — campaign and political information, links to his campaign website, and advocacy for grassroots organizing and his positions.”

“Furthermore, Ellison has two separate Twitter accounts, a political one used for his DNC Chair chair campaign and his official House account, indicating that he is fully aware of the difference between the two,” Mr. Whitaker said.

Mr. Ellison’s office did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The House ethics committee has never publicly reprimanded members for their use of their social media accounts for campaign purposes.

The Members Handbook, though, states that lawmakers are free to set up social media accounts that include “profiles, pages, channels or any similar presence on third-party sites that allow individuals or organizations to offer information about themselves to the public.”

But these “Member-controlled contest on Social Media Accounts is subject to the same requirements as content on Member websites,” and should not include “political party … or campaign information.”

Mr. Ellison is running for the DNC chair against New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Raymond Buckley and South Carolina Democratic Chair Jaime Harrison.

Secretary of Labor Tom Perez is also considering a bid.

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