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Did Dick Durbin video to YKos violate Senate ethics rules?

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 6, 2007 02:42 PM

Earlier today, bloggers Reverse Spin and Backyard Conservative called attention to Democrat Dick Durbin’s video to the nutroots YearlyKos convention, which used an official Senate seal. The Senate Ethics Manual explicitly forbids the use of the Senate seal for campaign use. The video had been posted on the DailyKos website since Saturday.

Anne Leary:

In his video presentation to the YearlyKos convention in Chicago, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL),the second-ranking Dem leader in the Senate, appears to have violated Senate ethics rules. Dick Durbin either broke Senate ethics rules by improperly using the Senate seal on a campaign video, or he used official resources to produce the video and then his campaign used that video.

And apparently our stellar Senator Durbin has now realized this himself, as he has changed the wording on his YouTube channel after the fact. Look at the before screenshot campaign wording on the channel title “Dick Durbin for Senate” and the page says “All the latest videos from Senator Dick Durbin’s election campaign”. The url is the campaign website, not the official one, and you can see the U.S. Senate seal superimposed on the frozen video screen.

Dan Curry notes that the YouTube video has now been pulled. But the screenshot has been preserved.


And so has the pre-scrubbed Durbin YouTube channel (via Anne Leary):


I’m sure the Clean Congress Democrats will get right on the case.


No Agenda has more:

One might suggest that Durbin used official resources to produce the video and then his campaign used that video. However, the Ethics manual makes it clear that it should not be used for campaign or political activities:

Official resources may only be used for official purposes. This principle derives in large part from 31 U.S.C. § 1301(a), providing that official funds are to be used only for the purposes for which appropriated, as well as from statutory authorizations for allowances. 418 It is thus inappropriate to use any official resources to conduct campaign or political activities. (Senate Ethics Manual, Chapter 6, Campaign Use of Official Resources, p 153)

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