Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) is obsessed with Charles and David Koch, the libertarian philanthropy barons who are just trying to make a difference in the world. His obsession may have gotten him into trouble.
Reid, who has publicly attacked the Koch brothers hundreds of times on the Senate floor, is currently facing an ethics complaint from a pro-First Amendment group for “unlawfully and unethically targeting private citizens.”
In the complaint, Tea Party Patriots accuses Reid of misusing Senate resources “to engage in partisan campaign activity in violation of federal laws and Senate rules.”
“This is nothing more than a continuation of the thuggish intimidation campaign mounted by the Obama administration to target and silence people and organizations Democrats disagree with. It has to stop,” TPP co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement. “The Senate is obliged to investigate allegations of ethical misconduct and we trust the Senate Select Committee on Ethics will accept this obligation in an open and honest manner.”
Meanwhile, a number of Reid’s Democratic colleagues are facing a separate ethics complaint from the Center for Competitive Politics for their alleged roles in the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit groups. The complaint accuses several Senators—Carl Levin (D., Mich.), Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Tom Udall (D., N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), Al Franken (D., Minn.), Michael Bennet (D., Colo.), and Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.)—of “improperly interfering with the administrative proceedings of the IRS.”
Previously, Reid and his Democratic colleagues have come under fire for posting anti-Koch attacks on their taxpayer-funded websites, another possible violation of Senate rules.