Rep. Ralph Abraham’s congressional website shared more than 20 articles covering his campaign for governor of Louisiana last month, seemingly in violation of House ethics rules against using official resources to campaign.
Between December and January, Abraham’s office shared at least 22 stories from local and national outlets about the election alongside press releases about agricultural policy and the Affordable Care Act, according to cached Internet Archive and Google search results.
The office apparently removed the stories in the last few weeks.
The House Ethics Manual prohibits the use of official resources for campaigning or other political purposes, including the use of office materials to draft written statements or releases seeking to influence an election, even if the member was a candidate. The manual also says that member and committee websites “may not include personal, political, or campaign information.”
On Dec. 6, four weeks after he was elected to a third term in Congress, Abraham, a Republican, launched his campaign to unseat Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat. That week, Abraham’s office began posting articles about his run for governor.
Edwards accused Abraham of “abandoning” his congressional responsibilities “along with the congressional office he was re-elected to exactly one month ago.” Last month, the American Ledger reported that Abraham had attended four fundraisers in Louisiana since the government shutdown began Dec. 22.
Some of the articles Abraham shared were explicitly political, including one in which Abraham called Edwards a “one-term governor.”
Abraham shared a Monroe News Star report about his internal polling, conducted by Remington Research Group, that showed a competitive race.
The article quoted Abraham saying: “Two things are clear from this poll — John Bel Edwards is a one-term governor, and I’m the man who can take him down. I said last week that I intended to win, and I meant it. I can’t wait to hit the campaign trail and meet as many folks as possible from across Louisiana.”
Louisiana will hold its gubernatorial “jungle primary” on Oct. 12. If no candidate receives a majority, voters will pick between the top two finishers on Nov. 16.