Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) is suddenly finding herself in VERY hot water over altered descriptions of the campaign finances paid to her husband in July Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings. Husband Cortney Merritts received $2,500 “wage expense” payments on six occasions between April and June. This is on top of the more explainable $2,500 “security services” payment made on April 3rd, 2023, and five others between January and March of 2023.
With his past military experience, the security payments are almost more explainable than the generic “wage expense” classifications of these latest payments. Yet there are still rules she may be violating.
Speaking with the Daily Caller, Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow, and Heritage’s Election Law Reform Initiative manager, Hans von Spakovsky, explained the laws and how she could have easily committed some egregious violations.
“Federal law and FEC regulations strictly limit the use of federal campaign funds…Salary payments can be made to a member of a candidate’s family but only if the family member is providing bona fide services to the campaign at fair market value. If these are not payments for actual services being provided, or if he is being paid more than the fair market value of his services, then Bush is violating federal campaign finance law. If she is doing it knowingly and intentionally, it goes from being a civil violation to a possible criminal violation.”
Married just days after getting a marriage license in February 2023, everything seemed very rushed. Bush’s 2022 midterm election cycle campaign filings show that Merritts was paid $60,000 for “security services” through her campaign. These payments were made even though he lacked a valid security license in St. Louis, where Bush’s Congressional district is.
FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold spoke to the Daily Caller about a complaint they filed in March about Busch and her activities. As he detailed in his complaint and in speaking with them, Busch is rather likely to have had improper payments being made. By not paying him market value for his services, there could be a massive violation of the law. The fact that they were likely unnecessary and repetitive, and he lacked a valid license to provide those services, and now it’s a major scandal.
Arnold also noted how Bush intentionally recategorized these payments as a different name to hide the true nature of her actions is incredibly deceitful and fails to provide the public with the information they need about her and her deceptive actions.
Committee to Defeat the President (CDP), an anti-Joe Biden activist group, was responsible for sending some of the complaints. They detailed her horrific actions and just how much they were costing taxpayers while she and her husband lined their own pockets. In a statement to the Daily Caller, CDP Chairman Ted Harvey split no hairs about her misdeeds.
“Cori Bush is competing hard to be The Squad’s most corrupt member, but we think it ought to be a race to hold her accountable — in Washington, D.C., and back home in Missouri. For someone who complains so much about the American system, she sure knows how to exploit it for power and profit, breaking campaign finance laws —and multiple local laws — in the process. Our committee won’t take the pressure off Bush until accountability becomes the reality her constituents deserve.”
As a proud member of the Black Lives Matter and defund the police movements, Busch, like other Squad members, has been spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on private security to keep them and their loved ones safe, all while screaming out that black lives were end angered by keeping firearms in the hands of the people.
Make no mistake, the security accompanying them is privatized security paid for by taxpayers as well as by campaign contributions. Having the people pay to protect them as they try to remove the protections from the people is an incredibly ignorant idea, and yet here we are. Now it’s time for Busch to get hers for this, yet like the other Squad members, she’ll likely deflect and blame racism.