Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.) paid his wife more than $100,000 from his campaign funds during the 2016 election cycle, campaign finance records show.
Soraida Gutierrez, Luis’s wife, worked as a lobbyist in Illinois from 2003 to 2009. In 2010, Soraida joined Luis’s campaign committee, Gutierrez for Congress. Soraida has since collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from Gutierrez’s campaign coffers.
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The first time Soraida worked in a capacity for the campaign, in 2010, she hauled in $44,000 from Gutierrez for Congress and was the top recipient in campaign cash.
Soraida then pocketed $93,000 from the campaign committee in 2012. This amount made her the top recipient of campaign funds throughout the cycle yet again. Gutierrez’s campaign committee disbursed $383,848 in 2012, meaning that Soraida’s payments made up around 25 percent of all expenditures that election cycle.
Soraida was then paid $110,000 during the 2014 election cycle. Soraida was again the top recipient of campaign cash.
Throughout the 2016 election cycle, Soraida has pulled in $101,000 and was the second highest paid from the committee this cycle. The only vendor that received more cash from the committee was Message Audience and Presentation, an Austin, Texas, based political consulting firm. Soraida received twice as much in payments as the third-highest-paid vendor.
Soraida was compensated $347,000 from Gutierrez’s campaign committee between 2010 and 2016.
Rep. Gutierrez’s wife was not his only family member to receive payments from his campaign committee.
His two daughters, Omaira and Jessica, received thousands in payments since 2010. The payments to his daughters were made for bookkeeping services and a fundraising project.
Congressional members have been allowed to place family members on their campaign payrolls since 2001. The allowance stems from an opinion issued by the Federal Election Commission after a request from former Rep. Jesse Jackson (D., Ill).
Gutierrez’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on the payments.