ICYMI: Washington Post: “Rental to Rep. Kevin McCarthy violated condo bylaws”

New Report Follows Watchdog’s Ethics Complaint Against McCarthy for Receiving Improper Gift

Contact: Michelle Kuppersmith, michelle@campaignforaccountability.org, 202.780.5750

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New reporting from the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler reveals that if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) paid for a room in GOP pollster Frank Luntz’s luxury condo, the arrangement violated the condo building’s bylaws. Last week, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether McCarthy violated House ethics rules by renting the room from Luntz at below-market rates.

“A top GOP political insider would have violated his building’s bylaws by renting a room in his luxury condo to Rep. McCarthy, so we wonder if McCarthy even paid. It’s time for the Office of Congressional Ethics to take a hard look at this arrangement,” said CfA Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith.

Washington Post: Rental to Rep. Kevin McCarthy violated condo bylaws

By: Glenn Kessler
May 11, 2021

Key Points:

– Last week, The Fact Checker revealed that the “room” that McCarthy rented from prominent pollster Frank Luntz for at least two months was in a 7,000-square-foot space — a combination of four penthouse apartments.

– It turns out that the bylaws of the condo building, Clara Barton at Penn Quarter, specifically prohibit condo owners from renting anything less than the entire space — and for not less than six months.

– Besides the “room” he rented, McCarthy would have had access to a 24/7 concierge, a rooftop pool, a fitness center, a media room, a business center and a party room with a bar and pool table. The homeownership association fees alone on the units are $4,976 per month, according to Redfin.com.

– The Campaign for Accountability, a nonpartisan watchdog organization, has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate the McCarthy-Luntz arrangement. The group noted that members of Congress generally are prohibited from accepting gifts, including lodging, and that the rent appeared to be below market rate. The group said that would qualify as a gift. Although allowances are made for gifts based on personal friendship, accepting a gift valued above $250 requires permission from the House Ethics Committee.

Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.