Tipton office violates House rules

DENVER (AP) — U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton’s office violated House rules when it used taxpayer resources to promote a campaign event in his newly drawn district in Avon.

The Denver Post reported Friday the Cortez Republican held a January town hall meeting in the western part of Eagle County, which will be part of his new district. The event was promoted on his congressional website, and a media advisory written by House-paid staffers was released in advance.

House rules bar the use of taxpayer money for campaigns. The use of staff resources and official funds to conduct official gatherings outside a representative’s district also is prohibited.

In redistricting years running for Congress as an incumbent is a bigger job, the Denver Post wrote. A member has to both serve one district and also begin familiarizing himself or herself to voters in another district.

According to the Denver Post story, the House rules are clear: It is illegal to use taxpayer dollars for campaign purposes.

This means staffers on public payroll are not allowed to work for campaigns full time, and the work they do should not be on House office equipment, should not be done during regular House office time and should not be done using House e-mails or House resources.

“Members may not use official funds, including the use of staff resources, to conduct ‘town hall’ meetings or other official gatherings outside their districts,” according to the Members’ Congressional Handbook.

Tipton spokesman Josh Green says no House funds were used, adding that it was a “staff mistake” and the meeting was inadvertently included on the website.