Dem. Congressional Candidate in Critical Race May Have Broken the Law
Democratic Congressional candidate Eric Lynn, the nominee in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, may have violated federal law by failing to disclose his role as a board member for a nonprofit.
The 13th Congressional District is officially an open seat after Charlie Crist, who is now the Democratic nominee for the Florida Gubernatorial race, resigned his seat this week.
JUST IN: Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist will resign from Congress effective today to focus on his race to unseat Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida https://t.co/sJeCytlyGH
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 31, 2022
An investigation by the Daily Caller News Foundation found that Lynn is a board member of the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County.
The organization partners with preschools to set curricula and deliver learning programs. Lynn did not list his position on the board in his 2021 or 2021 disclosures.
Despite this, he still lists his position on his campaign website.
Legal experts have said that what Lynn did may be in violation of federal law.
“Along with financial information, a candidate or Member must disclose any positions held outside of Congress because these can lead to a conflict of interest, namely that the Member has a motivation other than the interest of the public as a whole,” Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, an ethics watchdog, told the DCNF.
Lynn has also openly posted about his board seat with the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County on Twitter.
As early as last October, he was still openly discussing his position.
As a proud advocate for early learning and board member of the Pinellas Early Learning Coalition, I am glad to see investments being made in our children to set them up for success.https://t.co/4ZNfSnmOeq
— Eric Lynn (@EricLynnFL) October 29, 2021
Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, said that laws requiring candidates to disclose their positions on nonprofits and boards is important to hold candidates and officeholders accountable.
“This law is extremely important because it is the only method to reveal whether a Member does have a conflict of interest and it is the public who monitors those,” said Arnold.
Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the left-leaning think tank Public Citizen, said that Lynn has
‘very little excuse’ for failing to report his board position, as the ethics laws requiring him to do so have been in the public eye over the last few years.”
“Because of such conflicts, serving on boards has been the subject of considerable controversy and public discussion in Congress in recent years, and so the congressional ethics rule on reporting such roles is widely known,” said Holman. “Eric Lynn would have little excuse for this omission.”
Lynn and the Florida Democratic Party have not commented by the publication time of this article.
Lynn is running against veteran and Turning Point USA activist Anna Paulina Luna.
The Cook Political Report currently rates Charlie Crist’s former district as ‘Likely Republican.”
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