There’s a troubling connection that’s just be revealed between the Democratic chairman of the Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, and his wife’s two charities.
To put it simply, the concern is over how large companies, who have business before the Oversight Committee, have been making big donations to the two charities owned by the wife of Elijah Cummings.
Here’s the lowdown:
DC EXAMINER – A charity run by the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings received millions from special interest groups and corporations that had business before her husband’s committee and could have been used illegally, according to an IRS complaint filed by an ethics watchdog group.
Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state’s gubernatorial race last year. The couple married in 2008. Cummings was once heavily in debt — in part due to hefty child support payments to his first wife and two other women he had children with — but his financial situation has improved considerably over the past decade.
Rockeymoore runs two entities, a nonprofit group called the Center for Global Policy Solutions and a for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC, whose operations appear to have overlapped, according to the IRS complaint filed by watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center on Monday. The complaint states that the arrangement may have been used to derive “illegal private benefit.”
Google, J.P Morgan and Prudential are all donors…
Global Policy Solutions received more than $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and 2016, according to tax records. Several of the nonprofit group’s financial backers — which included Google, J.P Morgan and Prudential — have business interests before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings has served as Democratic chairman of the committee since January and previously served as ranking member.
Johnson and Johnson has also been a contributor, but isn’t donating anymore:
The largest contributor to the nonprofit was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is the charitable arm of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, a company that is regulated by Cummings’s committee. The foundation, which gave a total of $5.5 million to Rockeymoore’s consulting firm and $5.2 million to her nonprofit, ceased supporting her groups in 2017.
In recent months, Cummings has been a vocal opponent of Johnson & Johnson, targeting the company as part of the House Oversight Committee’s probe of drug price inflation.
Under Cummings, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has wide authority to regulate business industries, including pharmaceuticals, banking, mortgage brokers, and technology. In recent years, Prudential, JP Morgan, and Johnson & Johnson have had business interests before the committee.
So are these companies buying influence with Cummings? And is Cummings now opposing Johnson and Johnson because he wants them to start donating to his wife’s charities again?
According to the man who filed a complaint about this, Cummings’ wife won’t let anyone look at their most recent financial records even though they are mandated to do so by the IRS.
He says the potential for corruption is “off the charts”:
Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, which has been investigating the nonprofit arrangement and provided research to the Washington Examiner, said the potential for corruption is “off the charts.” He said Rockeymoore declined to let his organization view her nonprofit’s most recent public financial records as required by the IRS.
“When a powerful chairman of a committee of the House of Representatives has a wife that is bringing in money from entities with interests before his Committee and she is not providing the transparency mandated by the IRS, there’s a serious problem,” said Anderson. “The potential for corruption in this situation is simply off the charts and can’t be understated. We hope Chairman Cummings works with his wife to end the stonewalling and provide the public with what’s legally mandated all charities provide.”
This odds of this just being a coincidence seem pretty low to me. I would imagine a seasoned investigator could make quick work of this to determine if it’s really as bad as it looks. I vote for a special counsel investigation!