February 23, 2012
The Honorable Eric Cantor
Cannon House Office Building, Room 303
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Rep. Cantor,
On behalf of Common Cause, I’m writing to ask for your help in clarifying the circumstances surrounding a payment that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) reported that it made in connection with an award you accepted in 2009.
ALEC presented you with the “Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award” in 2009. ALEC’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVNsRWeYAkQ) includes video of your acceptance of the award on December 2, 2009. Moreover, the ALEC award nomination form for 2010 lists you as the award’s sole recipient in 2009.
In its 2009 Internal Revenue Service filing, ALEC reports the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award as a “cash grant” of $1,350, given to one recipient. Enclosed are copies of the two documents described above: the nomination form listing you as the Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award winner in 2009, and ALEC’s IRS filing for 2009 reporting that the award in 2009 consisted of a “cash grant” of $1,350 to one recipient.
While these records suggest payment was made to you, there is no report of your receipt of funds from ALEC in your 2009 financial disclosure statement. Moreover, it appears that even if disclosed, receipt by a member of Congress of the “cash grant” described in ALEC’s tax filing is prohibited by rules set out in the House Ethics Manual (Pages 30-35.)
Please be advised that by copy of this letter, Common Cause is referring this matter to the Office of Congressional Ethics.
We look forward to your response.
President and CEO
CC: Office of Congressional Ethics