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Sloppy Financial Disclosure Records for House Ethics Committee Member Linda Sanchez

March 2nd, 2011 · 6 Comments

I have often maintained that Latino people in all walks of life are held to a higher standard in terms of expectations, especially in the current political environment. This week I was sent this story about Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, who is now the ranking member of the House Ethics Committee. Basically, Congresswoman Sanchez’s financial disclosures were not accurate. I realize that our Congressional representatives are busy people, but they earn above average salaries so people have above average expectations, especially when it comes to simple accounting.

“There is no allegation of impropriety stemming from the inaccurate disclosure forms, but a review of several years of Sanchez’s financial records shows a history of sloppy record-keeping for a member of Congress whose new job on the ethics committee is to review the ethics and financial disclosures of other lawmakers.

Sanchez also has other holes in her financial disclosure forms. She failed to disclose for more than two years a royalty agreement related to a book she co-wrote with her sister, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), who has never declared the same royalty agreement on any of her disclosure reports. An aide to Linda Sanchez said the California Democrat never received any money from the book.

In addition, Sanchez appeared to violate the terms of her mortgage on a Capitol Hill condo by renting out the unit in 2009. A document Sanchez signed as part of her 2005 mortgage agreement on the condo — purchased from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) — barred her from leasing it to another party. The mortgage documents, along with real estate records and financial disclosure forms filed with the House, were reviewed by POLITICO for this report.

However, on her annual disclosure report filed in 2010 — which covers the previous year — Sanchez acknowledged receiving between $5,000 and $15,000 in rental income from the Washington condo. By renting out the unit, Sanchez was required to declare the mortgage on the property on her annual reports, which she did properly.

But Sanchez failed to report a $34,500 home equity line of credit she took out on the condo. When Sanchez reported she owned the property, she misreported the address.

Sanchez sold the Capitol Hill condo to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) last year for $290,000, according to public records.”

The article also made mention of the staff sharing arrangement that Linda Sanchez engaged in with her sister, Loretta, which again is something that she probably should have avoided altogether. The staff sharing arrangement occurred after the Caroline Valdez embezzlement case.

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Tags: ethics · Rep. Linda Sanchez

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Mar 3, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Re: “There is no allegation of impropriety stemming from the inaccurate disclosure forms”

    Case closed.

    Why do you react to everything Republican blogs say? They will nitpick every little thing, and if they can’t find anything they’ll make it up.

    Unless there is an ethics violation or an issue of impropritety, let it go.

  • 2 MexicanBrotherhood // Mar 3, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I’m a relatively left leaning non-partisan (not registered with any party), and I like getting information like this about members of Congress regardless of what party they belong to. Anna, why should Rep. Sanchez make repeated errors on her disclosure forms? What — is she entitled just because she’s in congress?

    Anna, quit seeing things through the Republican/Democrat blog lens and start looking at the big picture. Democrats and Latinos aren’t somehow above making mistakes. And just because something is legal — that doesn’t mean it’s ok. Sloppy disclosures like this reveal a certain laziness or laxness with accounting. Are those qualities becoming of a member of congress?

  • 3 Anna // Mar 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    What good does posting it here do? This has nothing to do with any of us. I’m sure Congresswoman Sanchez will amend her records. I don’t think she needs a scolding from the webmaster.

    I guess I want posts about real issues….sigh.

  • 4 MexicanBrotherhood // Mar 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Anna, I don’t see where the webmaster is scolding the Congresswoman. She never says, “Bad Sanchez! Sanchez should be taken to task for filling out forms incorrectly and omitting information.” The tone of this blog is very matter of fact.

    If you think that this blog is scolding Linda Sanchez, then you must be really sensitive.

    The accounting of money and accurate reporting are real issues, especially when funds are tight. There are a lot of blogs on this site that are about “real issues”. It’s funny that you decide to zero in on this one when you could have commented about protest in Cuba, the situation in Arizona, and more. Obviously, you felt compelled to say something, and maybe this post was just written for that — to provoke a reaction.

  • 5 Rep. Linda Sanchez Complains About her Paycheck // Apr 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    [...] Edited to add: This rant about the paycheck is coming shortly after it was revealed that Sanchez had kept sloppy financial disclosure records. [...]

  • 6 Pittwin // Apr 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I guess the sloppy accounting is why she is living pay check to pay check on 170,000 bucks a year. What a joke.

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