Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke may be in some hot water as he reportedly paid out $110,000 in campaign funds to a web development company that either he or his wife owned at the time, the Daily Caller reports.
According to the report, O’Rourke’s congressional campaign team paid out several installments, some of which included tens of thousands of dollars, to Stanton Street Technology Group between 2011 and 2018.
“Beto for Texas paid Stanton Street Technology Group $58,544 during the 2011-12 election cycle, $39,060 during the 2013-14 cycle, $9,290 in the 2015-16 cycle and $32,778 during the 2017-18 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation,” the Daily Caller reports.
O’Rourke founded the company in 1998 before his wife took over the company in 2013. She reportedly kept control of the company until she sold her stake in the company on March 31, 2017.
The Daily Caller continues:
Either O’Rourke or his wife owned Stanton Street — a small web development firm that O’Rourke founded in 1998 — during the vast majority of those payments. Such payments are legal, so long as the campaign is charged for the actual cost of the services, but ethics watchdogs have criticized the practice as a form of self-dealing.
O’Rourke’s wife, Amy Sanders O’Rourke, took over Stanton Street as the Texas Democrat entered Congress in January 2013. She controlled it until early 2017.
Amy O’Rourke sold her stake in the company on March 31, 2017, according to Beto O’Rourke’s 2017 year-end financial disclosure report. He listed the sale value in the $100,001 to $1 million range.
According to the report, O’Rourke served as a congressional candidate and the website’s financial manager during 2011 and 2012, paying himself directly from the company’s finances for “consulting” and “social media.”
Check it out, via the Daily Caller:
Screenshot/Federal Election Commission
Here’s more from the report:
Stanton Street publicly announced the sale more than two months after the fact in a June 2017 blog post that listed CEO Brian Wancho as Amy O’Rourke’s buyer.
Stanton Street declined to make Wancho available for an interview, but Wancho agreed to answer questions via email.
Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign — his first campaign since Amy O’Rourke sold the company — is not using Stanton Street, according to Wancho. Wancho said he thought there wasn’t anything unethical about a candidate directing campaign funds to a business they own.
“What would be out of bounds is if the candidate abused the process and over-paid for goods and services just to enrich themself or their family. I expect the combination of campaign expenditure reporting and investigative journalism to work together to root out the situations where the candidate is abusing the system,” he [Wancho] said.