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Elwood W. Barr, 77, of Gloucester City
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Letters to the Editor: A Busy Month for FACT

Another busy month has passed and I'd like to update you on some of our recent notable work. Screen Shot 2022-05-15 at 21.22.18

First, FACT filed a complaint against Congressman Kai Kahele of Hawaii. House ethics rules prohibit Representatives from taking official action when they have a conflict of interest. In this case, Rep. Kahele was employed by Hawaiian Airlines while simultaneously serving on a Congressional committee and co-sponsoring bills that directly affected his employer, Hawaiian Airlines. Making matters worse, these were bills that Hawaiian Airlines lobbied on, including one that provided tax credits to the airline industry. We sought an investigation into this apparent conflict of interest. 

You can read FACT's complaint here, as well as coverage by:

UPDATE: Following FACT's complaint, it has been reported that Rep. Kai Kahele is now going to leave his Congressional office.

Second, FACT filed a complaint against Florida Rep. and Senate Candidate Val Demings for abusing the COVID-19 rules permitting virtual attendance at House committee proceedings to simultaneously attend a campaign event during an official House proceeding. U.S. House rules require both a strict separation between official business and political activity and only permit remote attendance at committee hearings based upon the COVID-19 pandemic--not for any other purpose.

In what appears to be a violation of both of these rules, on April 5, 2022, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing for the markup of the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which Rep. Demings remotely attended. At the same time, and during the actual committee proceedings, Demings also remotely spoke at a political event held over Zoom to promote her Senate candidacy. Demings’ remote attendance can be seen in the video recordings of both events.

Demings even apologized while speaking at the virtual political event because she was waiting for her name to be called to vote in the House proceeding. She stated, “Of course I’ve been looking so forward to being with the Duval Caucus, and here I am stuck in a markup in Judiciary, so I apologize for the background noise, but of course I am also listening to the hearing there, so I know when it is time for me to vote.” Following this, Demings then failed to mute her microphone while Zooming into the House proceeding and can be heard speaking to the individuals at the political event. The embarrassing moment took place during the recorded vote until the Committee Chairman had to tell her that she was unmuted. 

You can watch the video clips of Demings dual attendance here.

You can read FACT's complaint here, as well as coverage by:

Finally, I have a few additional media appearances to share. In the following news stories you will find one in which I'm quoted and another that discussed a previously filed FACT complaint:

I was also on the radio and you can listen to it on FACT's You Tube page.

FACT will continue to fight for all politicians to be held accountable and keep you updated as to the newest developments. Thank you for your continued support of FACT.  If you have not yet liked our FACEBOOK page, do it now here.

Kendra Arnold
Executive Director
Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust
Washington, D.C. USA