You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.
Well, it could be that same approach to fundraising that now has her in hot water. According to CNN, the House Minority Leader may have broken the law when she solicited donations during a speech in the Capitol building.
At a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday, Pelosi was making the case for campaign finance reform and said Democrats will disclose donors to their political groups, even when the law doesn’t require it.
During her comments, she said “by the way we’re asking people to contribute to us if they want to elect more reformers to Congress so we can do away with super PACs – we can do away with secret contributions.”
So what’s so odd about that statement? Well, the part where she says “we’re asking people to contribute” while standing inside the U.S. Capitol is. That’s because, as CNN notes, “The law prohibits any kind of fundraising on federal grounds.”
A Pelosi spokesman, Drew Hammil, denied any wrongdoing.
The comment was very clearly referring to our efforts to disclose, reform and amend,” he told CNN. “Reporters have repeatedly asked the Leader how to square fundraising and reform policy so that’s why she said we have to raise money to elect more reformers. That is her pitch to supporters.”
In 1997, the Clinton administration (and Al Gore) faced a probe over whether he solicited donations by making campaign phone calls from the Oval Office. The law that forbids such conduct is called the Pendleton Act.
This story has been updated for clarity.