Yacht, or Not
File this away in your “Screams For Campaign Finance Reform” cabinet.
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) is asking the Federal Election Commission for permission to have his reelection campaign pay him to use his personal yacht for campaign fundraising.
Last year, Neugebauer and family members created a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which technically owns the D.C.-based boat. Neugebauer and his wife own 60 percent of the LLC, with the rest owned jointly by Neugebauer, his wife, his son, his son’s wife and two trusts benefiting two grandchildren, the kids of his son.
In a letter sent to the FEC earlier this month, attorneys representing Neugebauer want the green light to allow the Texas Republican’s campaign committee to access the yacht, free of charge, “within the percentage partnership rights held by Congressman Neugebauer himself.”
That seems reasonable. But wait, there’s more!
When the campaign committee uses the boat, the costs exceeding Neugebauer’s percentage rights would be paid to the LLC (which benefits himself and his family).
But wait — there’s more! “As an alternative to using the boat within the partnership rights of Congressman Neugebauer,” the lawmaker also wants permission that the campaign “may pay the LLC a fair market rate for any and all use of the boat.” This appears to mean that political contributions to Neugebauer’s campaign could land into Neugebauer’s pockets if the cash is filtered through the rental of his own party yacht.
We’re eagerly awaiting the FEC’s reply.