Buck McKeon For Congress Website-- It’s a Web Of Family Payments
Is Buck McKeon’s new website worth $108,000? That’s the question we’re asking after we read the pre-primary FEC filing for Buck McKeon for Congress. First we see 2 expenditures to Savanna Communications, PO Box 53224, Washington, DC on 4/19/2012 for $30,000 and $18,000 for website design, microsite development and hosting. This is suspicious not only because of the ridiculous amount, but a look at McKeon’s history of payments for web development and hosting have all been to his family members. McKeon paid his son-in-law David Logan $4,000 for webhosting in the 2008 cycle. Subsequently, payments were made to his son David O. McKeon who is listed as president of 2 shell corporations from Las Vegas, Ameramedia and DO Consulting. David McKeon received the bulk of his father’s campaign web services payments from 2009-2011, totaling just over $50,000. In October 2011, the payments to DO Consulting stopped and the same amount was paid to TLS CO, 10120 W. Flamingo Road #4135, Las Vegas, NV. In 4 months, TLS CO received $10,500. There is no TLS CO listed as a corporation in Nevada and the address on Flamingo Road is a Postnet store where one can rent a mailbox. TLS has a non-descript website here.
What’s interesting is that the new web development company, Savanna Communications, is not listed when a corporation search is done for the District of Columbia, despite at PO Box address in DC. There is a similar non-descript website here. One would think, a company specializing in political communications and websites would have a better representation of their work.
Apparently, charging exorbitant fees for web design is not Savanna Communications only expertise. The only other congressman who has utilized “them” is... Eric Cantor who paid their standard fee of $30,000 on 3-16-2012 for “Photo/Video Shoot.”
Those of you familiar with our previous reporting know Congressman Buck McKeon’s predilection for paying his family members with campaign cash. His wife acts as his treasurer and has been paid over $547,584 since 2001, but about $240,000 of that is in the past few years.
While the ethics of paying family members to do campaign work could be questioned, it is not illegal. But both the House Ethics Manual and 2 U.S.C. 439 prohibit payment to family members unless a “bona fide campaign need” exists and “payments are not in excess of the fair market value.”
Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) recently published their nepotism report call Family Affair. According to the report, McKeon made the top 5 representatives paying the most money in salaries to family members. Mrs. McKeon, whose failed Assembly race is hopelessly tangled in ethical breaches of co-mingled campaign fundraising with her husband's, is the highest paid employee for the campaign.
Buck McKeon is no stranger to financial scandals, as he is currently under investigation for his role in Countrywide Mortgage scandal when he sought out a lobbyist to help him get CEO Angelo Mozilo’s intervention for a sweetheart deal on his home mortgage.
We’re hoping the voters of CA-25-- Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, the Antelope Valley and Porter Ranch-- decide it’s time to end the double-dealing and financial scandals of Buck McKeon. The prospects are looking better for his retirement in November, and by default his campaign employee wife. You can help by donating to his opponent Blue America-endorsed candidate Dr. Lee Rogers here. The DCCC seems afraid to take McKeon on because of his powerful position as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee-- same way they're shying away from taking on Paul Ryan, chairman of the Budget Committee. But McKeon and Ryan are both vulnerable and grassroots support will help guarantee that Lee Rogers and Rob Zerban are in Congress in January, instead of two of Congress' most toxic incumbents. That's the kind of battle that animates and motivates Blue America. You?