An investigation into Ilhan Omar’s Campaign Violations to be Released Soon

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is soon to find out the results on an ongoing investigation into her campaign for US Congress in 2018 spending by the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 06: Minnesota Democratic Congressional-elect Ilhan Omar with her family at an election night results party on November 6, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Omar won the race for Minnesota's 5th congressional district seat against Republican candidate Jennifer Zielinski to become one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Complaints were filed against Rep. Omar in 2018 by Representative Steve Drazkowski (R- Mazeppa) who alleged that Omar used roughly $6,000 in funds for her own personal use, including payments to her divorce attorney and a trip to Boston as well as Estonia.

The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board’s handbook states the following about non-campaign expenditures: “Trips that are for general fact-finding and relationship building, such as meeting with the state’s congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., are not reasonable costs of serving in an office that may be paid for with campaign committee funds.” It also states that  “money collected for political purposes and assets of a political committee or political fund may not be converted to personal use.”

“Like anyone else, Representative Omar has the right to make a living, but she doesn’t have the right to use campaign funds to offset her out-of-pocket expenses as she chooses to travel the world,” Rep. Drazkowski said when he filed the complaint Oct. 9 of 2018.

Rep. Drazkowski’s complaints came shortly after Omar repaid $2,500 in speaking fees she received after delivering speeches at public colleges, which is a violation of Minnesota lawmakers ethics rules.

Rep. Omar’s 2018 GOP challenger, Jen Zelinsky, brought up the alleged campaign violations in an October debate. Omar responded by calling Rep. Drazkowski “bigoted”, adding that she had not heard from the Campaign Finance Board about the complaints. The Moderator, Tom Crann, asked Omar three times if she had, in fact, misused her campaign funds, to which she responded finally with “If there was, um — [pauses] — an, an improper action, I would not have used it.”

Authorities have recently completed the investigation and are preparing to issue the necessary rulings with regards the two separate complaints.  


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Megan Olson

Megan Olson is a 2020 graduate of the University of Minnesota with degrees in political science and history. She works in public affairs in addition to serving on the Legislative Advisory Council for School District 196. She is also on the school board for FIT academy, a charter school in Apple Valley.