Rep. Aaron Schock needs to get it together.
He has been been in a heap of trouble recently. Mostly over the misuse of funds and taxpayers' money, but now, this new scandal involves another man. Word is Aaron accepted money from some outside group and took a trip to India with his photographer and videographer, Jonathon Link. No big deal, right? Well, it is because Aaron did not disclose any of it. That bit of action is possibly violation of House rules.
This trip happened in August 2014. Aaron met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the Global Poverty Project. Jonathon was there to document the trip, which you can see on Aaron's Instagram account. The organization offered to pay for the costs of one staffer to come with Aaron as long as the person abided by the rules and policies. However, somewhere the communication broke down.
The problem is House rules allow a member to accept private money for a companion's travel expenses only if the companion is a staffer, spouse or child. Link was none of those; he didn't appear on Schock's official or campaign payroll until September 2014.
Furthermore, Schock never disclosed that Link accompanied him on the trip, according to a review of public records. Members are allowed to accept money from private sources for some travel as long as they disclose it, and they also are required by law to disclose in writing when someone accompanies them on a trip paid for by an outside organization. Members have to seek a waiver from the Ethics Committee to bring someone other than a staffer or family member. Otherwise, they must pay for the companion's trip out of pocket.
Instead, a disclosure form filed by Schock after his return gives no indication that he was accompanied by Link. The Global Poverty Project paid $5,000 for travel, $525 for lodging, $300 for meals, $289 for travel insurance and $100 for ground transportation for Schock's travel. The trip took place August 24-29, with a round trip flight from Chicago to New Delhi and a visit to Mumbai, as well.
Of course this spinning the wheels on the rumor bike. Some are wondering if Jonathon is Aaron's midnight snack. Again, this mess joins the long line of drama in Aaron's world. I wonder how he's going to explain this one?