Democratic congressman paying generously for his wife’s campaign efforts

An Illinois Democratic congressman lucked out when his wife joined his campaign team. After she was added to the campaign’s payroll, Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s wife, Soraida, earned hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to a new report by The Washington Free Beacon, Rep. Gutierrez’s campaign has disbursed $415,000 to Soraida.

Soraida was a registered lobbyist in Illinois from 2003 to 2009, then joined Gutierrez’s campaign team for his congressional run in 2010. Now acting as the campaign’s office manager, treasurer, and fundraiser, she has been the “top recipient of cash from the committee on numerous occasions since she began receiving payments from her husband’s campaign,” according to the report.

In the first six months of this year, $30,000 has gone to Soraida, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Soraida is paid in part for providing fundraising services for the campaign. The committee has raised only $10,505.02 since January—$1,400 of which has been refunded—giving the committee $9,105.02 in net contributions this cycle. The committee has $118,669 on hand.

When combining the $30,000 she earned this year with the $385,000 she has earned since first joining the campaign team, Soraida has been generously compensated to the tune of $415,000 by Gutierrez for Congress.

The lawmaker also hired his daughters to work for his campaign in the past. Between 2004 and 2009, daughter Omaira received $4,270 for bookkeeping. A second daughter, Jessica, collected $600 in 2004 for a fundraising project.

The Federal Election Commission issued an opinion in 2001 that allows members of Congress to have family members on their campaign’s payroll. Then-Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Ill.) had pushed the idea, placing his wife on his payroll after the committee’s approval was decided. In 2013, Jackson and his wife pled guilty to using $750,000 worth of campaign funds for personal use.

Gutierrez made waves Saturday when denouncing President Donald Trump as a “major criminal,” saying he would be “eliminated” when Democrats take the House of Representatives back and can begin his impeachment.

“For me, the major criminal that exists in the United States of America is called Donald Trump—he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House,” Gutierrez exclaimed.

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