Just in case you missed it, here it is in all its gory glory:
Well, now the O'Donnell campaign says that Murphy is up to his old tricks. From a press release distributed on Friday:
At the Bethel Park Parade and Community Day on September 13th, 2008, Congressman Murphy used the event for both official and campaign purposes. This is a clear violation of House Ethics Rules, and by definition an illegal activity.You can see the full press release here and it's chock full of photographs.
According to House ethics rules (page 178 – click on this link), Members of Congress must designate their public appearances as either official or political – but not both. The rule is intended to prevent Members from using taxpayer money to further campaign objectives. The exact text of the relevant statute in the House Ethics Manual can be found below.
At the Bethel Park event, Murphy set up a Congressional tent decorated with the Congressional seal and manned by one of his Congressional staff.
Meanwhile, Murphy marched in the parade, handing out campaign paraphernalia, like “Murphy for Congress” nail files. He was also accompanied by campaign staff. An official-looking black sedan marked with the words “Congressman Tim Murphy” followed closely behind. The sign on the car was ambiguous – it made direct reference to Murphy’s title, but it didn’t contain either the Congressional seal or Murphy’s campaign logo. However, one of the passengers in the car was wearing a “Murphy for Congress” campaign sticker.
Less than twenty minutes later, Murphy appeared at his Congressional tent – which, was located adjacent to the tent of the Bethel Park Republican Committee. As he spoke with party members, he was wearing a blue windbreaker with an official seal with the words “Congressman Tim Murphy.” When one of Murphy’s campaign staffers, who had been standing adjacent to the Congressional tent, saw that Murphy was being photographed, he charged across the street and physically confronted the photographer.
You can find out more about Steve O'Donnell here.