Memo to Senate Staff: Don't "Cash In" on Tickets
With the competition increasing by the hour for tickets to all things inaugural, a memo was sent out to Senate staffers warning them not to sell the tickets they receive. (Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has offered legislation to make the sale of tickets to the swearing-in ceremony a federal crime.) Here's the memo:
As a general matter, conversion of official Senate or House property or resources to private purposes may violate federal law and Senate and House rules. Moreover, the conflicts of interest provisions of both the Senate and House Codes of Official Conduct specifically prohibit even the appearance that Members or staff are “cashing in” on their official position (i.e., using their Senate or House position for personal gain.) These provisions are intended as a broad prohibition against members, officers, and employees deriving financial benefit, directly or indirectly, from the use of their official positions.
The JCCIC [Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies] considers the sale of tickets provided to Members, or distributed to Congressional staff for personal use, to be inappropriate and to give rise to an appearance of impropriety. Congressional personnel selling tickets will be reported to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics or the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for appropriate disciplinary action.
David A Nakamura
January 12, 2009; 5:58 PM ET
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