Nate McMurray, a Democrat running in the Special Election in NY-27 to fill the vacancy left by the Chris Collins, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, Democrat running in CA-50 for Duncan Hunter’s former seat, have teamed up to call for ethics reform to prevent corrupt Congress members from retaining their Congressional pensions following their guilty pleas.
McMurray and Campa-Najjar ran against Collins and Hunter, respectively, in 2018 while they were under indictment and proclaiming their innocence. Both former Congress members have since resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to their crimes. Collins will be sentenced for insider trading violations on Jan. 17th.
The candidates are pledging to sponsor legislation to require Congressional pensions to be forfeited if a member is found guilty of a felony. Additionally, they will sponsor legislation to require the repayment of personal loans to campaigns within two years of the election.
McMurray first called for pension forfeiture in an October letter to the judge overseeing Collins’ case after Collins pled guilty.
It was reported earlier this month that Collins, a multimillionaire, also paid himself back more than $140,000 for a personal loan he gave to his losing 1998 campaign.
“People across our country are fed up with politicians illegally using their positions for personal gain – here in Western New York and in California, we have been deeply betrayed by our Congress members who prioritized their personal wealth ahead of their constituents,” McMurray said.
“That’s why Ammar and I are committed to addressing corruption when elected. Specifically, we want to ensure no felon former Congressmember can profit off their crimes by retaining their pensions and prevent campaign accounts from turning into personal piggybanks. Americans deserve better.”
“Nate and I are standing together today to fight back against the corruption that has harmed our districts, and demanding that Washington hold members of Congress to the most basic standards of ethical behavior,” Campa-Najjar said.
“Regardless of your party, if you break the public’s trust, you should not be able to keep your pension. Corruption harms all of us and undermines faith in our government. We must do better.”