Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), one of the members of the radical “Squad,” has married her “bodyguard.”
Bush married Cortney Merritts last weekend in a private ceremony in St. Louis, KSDK reported this weekend.
“Marriage records filed with the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds show that Bush signed his marriage license to a covenant with Cortney Merritts on February 11, a few days before their wedding,” the report notes.
But far from being a love story worthy of Hollywood, the marriage is raising questions about potential ethical violations.
The problem? Her campaign team paid Merritts more than $60,000 last year in direct payments.
The Federal Election Commission and the Office of Congressional Ethics, federal law, and House ethics rules prohibit the use of campaign funds for personal use.
“Campaign funds shall not be used to enhance a member’s lifestyle or to pay a member’s personal obligations,” the Chamber’s ethics rules state. “Members have broad discretion in determining what constitutes a bona fide campaign or political purpose to which campaign funds and resources may be devoted, but Members have no discretion to convert funds from the personal use campaign”.
Bush has a record of spending significant money on security. As of August 2020, his campaign has spent $627,088 in security-related expenses, of which $62,359 went to Merritts last year.
The first direct campaign payments to Merritts were reported in 2022 after their relationship began, KSDK reported.
Cori Bush has backed the discredited “Defund the Police” movement, which has raised questions about its spending on private security. Bush responded that this is because people have made death threats against her in the past.
“Would you rather I die?” Bush asked CBS News in 2021. “Would you rather I die? Is that what you want to see? Do you want to see me die? You know, because that might be the alternative.”
Other members of the “Squad” have hired bodyguards despite pressure to defund the police. Cori Bush would be the first to marry one.
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