On the campaign trail, Raphael Warnock once railed on using the Senate to enrich oneself. Then he got into office.
A new report shines a light on Warnock’s personal finances: doubling his income while in office, using a sketchy loophole to sidestep ethics rules, using campaign funds to pay personal legal fees, as well as receiving a hefty six-figure book advance while he chases the national spotlight at the expense of voting in the Senate.
Warnock has already drawn public scrutiny for some of his unusual financial arrangements. While senators are prohibited from accepting more than $29,000 in outside income, Warnock raked in $120,000 last year from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta—but dodged the income cap by taking most of that money as a “housing allowance.” He was also hit with election finance complaints in July for using campaign funds to fight personal lawsuits that predated his run for office…
Warnock was able to avoid ethics rules that prohibit lawmakers from earning over 15 percent of their income from outside employers through a unique financial agreement with the Ebenezer Baptist Church. His campaign said $89,000 of his salary from Ebenezer Baptist Church was a “personal parsonage allowance” to pay for his housing, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Warnock’s home in Atlanta is worth around $1 million, the AJC reported.
This is all especially awkward given Warnock’s long paper trail of statements as a candidate criticizing politicians for doing… exactly what he is now doing.
Warnock once said: “I just think you shouldn’t use the people’s seat to enrich yourself. You ought to use the people’s seat to represent the people.”
Funny how that works.