More ethical questions are being raised surrounding Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). FROM RED STATE
Omar has already come under fire for a variety of issues, from her alleged affair with a political consultant to investigation for possible campaign finance violations.
The latest allegations concern the book deal she signed around the time that she was elected to Congress.
In January, Dey Street Books announced the deal for her memoir “This Is What America Looks Like,” a book about her travels from Somalian refugee to congresswoman. The deal was described as a “good deal,” meaning that it was worth from $100,000-$250,000. She’ll be working with a collaborator with the target release thought to be April 2020.
But, as the Washington Free Beacon points out, there may be a problem with the deal.
Those rules prohibit “the receipt of any advance payment on copyright royalties”—that is, a book advance—as well as “the receipt of copyright royalties” unless the contract has first been approved by the House Ethics Committee.
Omar’s colleague, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas), for example, received a $250,000 advance to pen a book about “outrage culture” before his swearing in last January. The hefty sum appears on his 2018 financial disclosure report, a filing required from all members of Congress detailing the sources and value of the incomes of House members.
Omar’s 2018 filing, which covers the calendar year, does not list a book advance. It is possible that she signed a contract with Dey Street, an imprint of Harper Collins, between Jan. 1 and Jan. 3, 2019, before her swearing in on the 3rd. If so, any advance would not have been listed on her 2018 financial disclosure and would have allowed her to comply with House ethics rules. But any contract signed outside of that two-and-half-day period—and that includes a book advance—either should have been listed on her 2018 disclosure or was signed in violation of House ethics rules.
“It’s very clear, a member cannot receive an advance payment on copyright royalties,” said Brendan Fischer, the director of the Federal Reform Program at the Campaign Legal Center. Omar is writing her book with the assistance of a research and writing collaborator and, according to Fischer, House rules prohibit that collaborator to receive an advance.