Better Utah Urges Caution in Response to Senator Lee’s Running for Position of Power

Salt Lake City – Responding to the news that Senator Mike Lee (R – Utah) is running to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-highest position in the Senate with the responsibility of helping craft the Republican Party’s policy agenda, the Alliance for a Better Utah announced that a part of its June 2014 Federal Election Commission complaint against Senator Lee has been dismissed by the FEC.

In June 2014, the Alliance for a Better Utah submitted a complaint to the Federal Election Commission alleging violations of federal campaign finance laws by Senator Lee and others. One of the allegations was that Senator Lee had received a prohibited national bank contribution when J.P. Morgan Chase approved the short sale of a $400,000 home and then waived the balance that he still owed on his mortgage. After an extensive investigation, the Commission determined last month that these actions, however questionable, did not amount to a campaign finance violation.

A copy of the FEC report can be found here.

“While the FEC found no wrongdoing by Lee or the bank, it remains clear that Lee received a $400,000 benefit by walking away from his mortgage obligation on his Alpine home,” said Josh Kanter, Founder and Board President of the Alliance for a Better Utah. “The question really is, even if not a campaign finance violation, why should Senator Lee benefit from such debt forgiveness when thousands of his fellow Utahns and millions of Americans face judgments and collection actions for their mortgage balances?” continued Kanter.

Kanter continued, “Mike Lee says that the country must live like an American family, yet he doesn’t want to play by the same rules. Since being elected, Senator Lee has shown that his leadership model consists primarily of obstructionism – even resulting in the infamous 2013 shutdown of the federal government. Utahns expect their leaders to lead by example. Better Utah questions whether Senator Lee has demonstrated the responsibility Utahns would expect from the Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.”

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