Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Timothy Hill's Job in Jeopardy? More Scathing Reviews of His Performance

So, here are a few more new stories about Timmy Hill's tax funded vandalism. Looks like his job might be in jeopardy too. Public servants are supposed to be ethical.

-Hill gets caught in web of scandal. (from the Bristol Herald-Courier on Aug. 15)
...At a minimum, Hill is guilty of a serious lapse in judgment. He has embroiled his boss in a needless controversy and made himself the target of an internal U.S. House investigation.

...Yet, Hill was willing to risk his career and reputation to "clean up" the entry about Davis. Did he do so on his own initiative or was he encouraged by his boss to police the entries? Neither Hill nor Davis has answered that question.

...If Hill violated the rules for congressional staffers, he should be reprimanded. If no rules were broken, he still must live with the fact that he created a controversy where none existed. That’s not a particularly useful skill for a press secretary.
-Lawmaker's office awaits panel's verdict on aide's act. (from the Knoxville News-Sentinel on Aug. 15)

"Timothy Hill declined comment Tuesday."

Highlights of the House Ethics Rules
Campaign Activities


* No campaign activities allowed in any congressional office or room (including district offices)

* No use of congressional office resources (including equipment, supplies, or files) for any campaign purpose

Financial Disclosure
Members, Officers, Senior Employees, and Principal Assistants


*Must disclose income (earned and unearned), assets, liabilities, transactions in securities and real property, certain gifts, travel expenses, outside positions, and agreements

*Financial information regarding spouse and dependent children must also be disclosed

Any person in Government service should:

1. Put loyalty to the highest moral principals and to country above loyalty to Government persons, party, or department.


3. Give a full day's labor for a full day's pay; giving to the performance of his duties his earnest effort and best thought.


All House staff must fulfill the congressional duties for which they receive their Government salaries. Therefore, official responsibilities may not be neglected for the sake of campaign activities. Similarly, no campaign activities should be performed in a manner that utilizes any official resources. (FOOTNOTE 71)


The line between official and political duties may not always be easy to pinpoint. Certain of a Member's legitimate, official, representational duties, such as constituent casework, news releases or newsletters to constituents, may be viewed as ``political in nature.'' (FOOTNOTE 72) However, the general distinction between official representational and legislative duties on the one hand and political campaign activities on the other is a common and longstanding distinction in Congress. This distinction is specifically recognized in such measures as the franking law (FOOTNOTE 73) and the House rule on unofficial office accounts. (FOOTNOTE 74)

(FOOTNOTE 72) United States v. Brewster, supra note 57, 408 U.S. at 512. See also Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 84 n.112 (1976) (recognizing that reasonable accommodations may be made ``between the legitimate and necessary efforts of legislators to communicate with their constituents and activities designed to win elections by legislators in their other role as politicians'').

(FOOTNOTE 73) Compare 39 U.S.C. sec. 3210(a)(1) and (2) with sec. 3210(a)(5)(A) and (C). See generally Common Cause v. Bolger, supra note 71, as to distinction between official and campaign mailings.

(FOOTNOTE 74) House Rule 45; see also Comm'n on Admin. Review, Financial Ethics, H. Doc. No. 95-73, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. 16-17 (1977).

Questions sometimes arise over the potential, and arguably unavoidable, overlap or intrusion of some minimal campaign-related activities into official operations when dealing with the practical, day-to-day realities of a Member's functioning office. In responding to ``official'' inquiries from the press or inquiries from constituents, for example, congressional staff may need to respond to issues that relate to a Member's political campaign, as well as his official duties. Similarly, scheduling assistance and information from the Member's official staff may be requested by the campaign staff to ensure that the Member's campaign schedule does not conflict with his official agenda. To the extent possible, however, campaign-related matters should not be handled in the congressional office or on official time. (FOOTNOTE 75)

(FOOTNOTE 75) See House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, Advisory Opinion No. 2, supra note 32.

In addition to congressional ethical standards and rulings, legal implications arise if salaries are claimed from public appropriations for individuals performing nonofficial, campaign services on behalf of a Member. As noted above, a Member may be held criminally liable for fraud against the Government for compensating individuals from public moneys for campaign services. (FOOTNOTE 76) In this connection, in 1979, a former Member of the House of Representatives pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion for having placed on his congressional payroll 11 persons who were operating and staffing various reelection campaign headquarters. (FOOTNOTE 77)

(FOOTNOTE 76) See United States v. Clark, supra note 29; see also United States ex rel. Joseph v. Cannon, 642 F.2d 1373, 1385 (D.C. Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 999 (1982), and United States v. Diggs, supra note 5, 613 F.2d at 997 (where the court found a fraudulent scheme in using staff appropriations ``for purposes other than those intended by the appropriation and duly certified by the congressman'').



Please note: This document is to be used for reference purposes only. The printed manual is the official version.

The Committee is in the process of revising and updating this Manual, which was published in 1992. On any subject, both the Manual and the Committee's advisory memoranda should be consulted. The advisory memoranda are organized by subject in the Highlights of the Ethics Rules.
102d Congress, 2d Session
* * *

1. A Member, officer, or employee of the House of Representatives shall conduct himself at all times in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives.

2. A Member, officer, or employee of the House of Representatives shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House of Representatives and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.
where can we find out how much congressional staffers earn a year? I want to know how much Timmy is being subsidized.
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