On Monday, NJ Hotline reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has filed an ethics complaint against National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Emmer (R-MN), alleging that his campaign workers improperly followed around and filmed themselves “badgering” House Democrats in taxpayer-funded offices and posted the footage to campaign accounts.
“During the past couple of months, NRCC and its own staffers or others acting on their behalf seem to have taken videos of Democratic Members in House buildings and hallways as someone badgered them with questions and posted them on NRCC’s Twitter accounts to tout the Committee’s political messaging,” wrote DCCC officials in a letter to Office of Congressional Ethics chief counsel Omar Ashmawy. “It is undisputed that a Member cannot film a campaign advertisement in a House building or hallway. It is equally undisputed that Members cannot circumvent this well-established ethics principle simply by filming a campaign advertisement for a Member’s political party arm instead of their own re-election campaign, or by hiring others to do it for them.”
The NRCC has come under a number of controversies over the past year for a series of ill-considered stunts targeting freshman Democrats, including a plot to send unwanted packages to the family of Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) to try to prove she doesn’t live in the state. The tactics of NRCC communications officials have drawn criticism from members of their own party, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who said he was “disappointed” in them.