From Peter Urban with Stephens Media’s Washington, D.C. bureau:
The Arkansas Democratic Party wants Congress to investigate whether U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, violated House ethics rules regarding campaign fundraising.
In a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics, the Democrats requested the office to initiate a preliminary review into their allegations that Cotton “violated the laws, rules and standards of conduct” during a radio interview on Sept. 30. The letter was signed by attorney Benton Smith of Jonesboro.
During the interview, Cotton touted his Senate campaign and encouraged supporters to contribute to his effort to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.
Hugh Hewitt, who conducted the interview by telephone, said at the time that Cotton was outside the House chamber — something that Cotton vehemently denies.
Democrats claim that there is “substantial reason to believe” Cotton violated the rules against soliciting campaign funds on government property, or at least allowed a talk show host to give that impression — violating House rules “by engaging in conduct that reflected discreditably on the House.”
“The facts have already proven this to be a false accusation, and we’re confident this publicity stunt complaint will be dismissed,” said Justin Brasell, a Cotton spokesman.
A copy of the DPA complaint can be viewed here.
The Democratic Party plans to hold a press conference at 2 pm at the Arkansas State Capitol on Tuesday, Oct. 29.