Democratic Rep Luis Gutierrez – one of the few that voted to impeach President Trump – announced that he will not seek reelection. After serving for 24 years, in the House of Representatives, it was discovered that he funneled hundreds of thousands to his wife from his campaign coffers.
Soraida Gutierrez, The wife of the representative, has collected huge sums of more than $430,000 from ‘Gutierrez for Congress’, the campaign committee for Luis, since the year 2010.
Soraida, who is also an ex-lobbyist in the state of Illinois before joining Luis’s campaign and earning from the campaign’s payroll, has also been listed as the campaign’s office manager, the fundraiser, and a treasurer for the past seven years.
A total of $77,838.69 in the operating expenditures, from the start of January till the end of September were reported by Gutierrez for Congress campaign committee. Soraida has also received seven thick checks for $6,000 each — or $42,000 in total — during this time, providing us an estimate that she has received almost more than half of Luis’s campaign’s monetary disbursements.
The second largest of these expenditures from Gutierrez’s campaign this year is a $22,000 charity to the Puerto Rican Relief Fund, which is not part of what is included in the committee’s operating expenditures in total but is in actual, marked under the ‘other disbursements’ category.
In his announcement of not seeking any more re-elections, Gutierrez had said that he would be leaving Washington to fully focus on the rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico. There, however, remains a speculation that the sudden retreat would raise a lot of questions about his personal motives and that if he has made another one of the “grand inside play.”
Despite Soraida being paid very generously for her fundraising services from the campaign committee, the committee went on to raise only a small sum of $2,812.86 in total individual contributions for this year. Other campaign committees have also added a further $17,000 in form of donations to Gutierrez.
However, this is essentially not the first time when Soraida has been among the topmost recipients of the cash from her own husband’s campaign.
At the time of Soraida’s joining in the year 2010, she received a sum of $44,000 from the war chest. Two years later in 2012, these payments rose to a staggering $93,000. Further down the lane, in the year 2014, the committee paid her $110,000, and in 2016, she took $125,856 from her husband’s campaign committee, called the ‘Gutierrez for Congress’
Gutierrez has also paid his two daughters a combined sum of $5,000 for a fundraising project and bookkeeping between the years 2004 and 2009.
Members of the Congress have been allowed to place their own family on the campaign payrolls since a 2001 Federal Election Commission suggestion was requested by former Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.
After the FEC gave a green light for politicians to pay their own relatives from their campaign committees, Jackson Jr. went forward and paid his wife’s firm huge sums of money in hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own committee.
Jackson and his wife – both, pleaded guilty later on to using a staggering sum of $750,000 of the campaign funds for their personal use.