Peters used his government-funded motorcycle tour last year to boost his campaign, once again benefiting himself at taxpayer expense
LANSING, Mich., August 31, 2020—The Michigan Republican Party today filed a formal ethics complaint against Gary Peters with the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics. The complaint requests that Peters be investigated for using official office, taxpayer-funded resources to boost his reelection campaign related to his annual motorcycle tours.
Senate ethics rules prohibiting the use of official resources for campaign activities appear to have been violated when Peters’ campaign committee used footage from a 2019 motorcycle tour that was paid for by his U.S. Senate official office.
The ethics rules were violated again when a non-profit organization appeared to have used the same footage for its advertising boosting Peters.
- August 2019: Peters’ U.S. Senate office paid for an extensive statewide motorcycle tour, which included his official office issuing daily press releases, social media posts and video footage of Peters posing with and riding his motorcycle.
- September 2019: Peters’ campaign committee, Peters for Michigan, posted what appears to be U.S. Senate-funded footage on its own website under a section entitled, “What Michiganders Need to Know”.
- December 2019: VoteVets Action Fund, a 501(c)(4), released an advertisement that appears to use the same footage that originated from the Peters for Michigan campaign website.
Additionally, during the government-funded August 2019 motorcycle tour, Peters made a stop at what appears to be a campaign-related event, and his campaign committee was spending money on travel, raising questions about the true purpose of the motorcycle tour, and how it was paid for and staffed.
- August 8, 2019: On the fourth day of the official office-paid motorcycle tour, Peters spoke at a meeting of The Traverse City Are Indivisible Network, a progressive advocacy group that supports candidates in local, state and federal candidates. During the same time frame of the tour, Peters’ campaign committee spent $795 on travel.
“Every move Peters makes is calculated to benefit himself first. Holding political fundraisers on days he didn’t show up to committee, flying overseas for campaign cash as COVID-19 erupted, refusing to use the same Obamacare insurance that his constituents use, and now this,” said Michigan Republican Party Chair Laura Cox. “This violation is so obvious that he must be held accountable.”