House Ethics Investigation of Rep. Rob Andrews Begins

Rob AndrewsHe is the star product of George Norcross’ stable of South Jersey Democratic politicians, and a key reason why many in South Jersey feel better represented in Congress than before 1990, before him. A popular congressman, who received more votes in the federal election 5 years ago than anyone ever elected to the House from New Jersey – breaking his own record – and this after a failed bid to unseat Frank Lautenberg in a Senate primary, a move that damaged him in the eyes of many Jersey Dems. A member of the House Armed Services Committee, in a part of NJ where may veterans live. A right-hand-man to Nancy Pelosi when she ran the House.

By all accounts, Rep. Rob Andrews is a power player. And now, finally, he is the subject of a formal investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

The allegations are that Andrews violated House rules and federal law by using campaign funds to pay for personal trips to Scotland, putting up his family in a 5-star hotel costing $7,725 for three nights, and using a 300-attendee graduation party for his daughter to raise more money for his campaigns. A 2011 report by Star-Ledger also found donations to Philadelphia-area theaters that put on productions in which his daughter had roles; and trips to California that coincided with another daughter’s fledgling show business career, all paid with campaign cash. The allegations involve tens of thousands of dollars. Andrews denies any wrongdoing.

If these allegations are true, they represent monumental stupidity on the part of Congressman Andrews. And he should go from the House. What is involved here is his alleged misuse of funds donated in good faith by his supporters, who had a right to expect that he would spend them on rightful campaign expenses, and not on lifestyle choices for his family or the promotion of his kids into show business. At this point, Norcross has developed a deep enough bench that somebody else can be promoted up the ranks and promoted to CD1 voters.

I hope to hell Andrews’ name is cleared after this investigation. We’ll see.  

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