Republicans try a pocketbook play to vilify Warnock

From ads to earned media, it’s just one piece of a broader financial attack the GOP is launching this fall. But dinging Warnock for using taxpayer and campaign payer money to cover personal expenses is a risky game, given the liabilities of GOP nominee Herschelle Walker—a former football star with a history of alleged domestic violence. There is a risk of getting gaffes with. And not every Republican is adopting the strategy.

Sen John Cornyn (R-Texas), for one, Said, “There is a lot of focus on personality in politics, and I would like us to talk about differences in policies.”

Warnock says he has “followed all appropriate procedures.” His aides have approved housing stipend arrangements with the Senate Ethics Committee.

However, the National Republican senatorial committee, despite Walker’s flawed candidacy, is embracing the new anti-Warnock deal as the GOP zeros in on Georgia, which is perhaps this fall’s best pick-up opportunity.

“Raphael Warnock has used every avenue to benefit himself and his generous mentors in Washington, while others have paid for their housing, childcare and personal legal bills,” said campaign arm president Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), said in a statement. “It will certainly be part of the campaign against this fall.”

Warnock is seeking re-election less than two years ago after winning narrowly in a runoff that gave Democrats control of the chamber. In his first year after taking office, personal financial disclosures reveal that he doubled his annual income to $541,965—including his $174,000 Senate salary, $120,964 from Ebenezer including a housing allowance, book Includes $243,750 as an advance and $3,251 more in book royalties.

It is not uncommon for senators to increase their wealth once they take office or to earn money from book deals. But Republicans are also raising questions about the pay arrangement with Ebenezer of Warnock, where he serves as senior pastor.

Although it is not publicly detailed in his personal financial disclosure, Warnock’s campaign told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which first reported the stipend, that nearly three-quarters of his salary from the church last year was “personal.” as was done. Parsonage Allowance, “Exemption from Income Tax.

This allows Warnock to technically comply with Senate rules on earning outside income, which is capped at $29,895 annually. Warnock’s campaign insisted that all of its financial arrangements follow the stated rules, from using campaign funds to fight lawsuits and paying for childcare to receiving an adequate housing allowance. It declined to provide further details about the Parsonage payment.

Warnock was paid $7,417 monthly for the cost of her housing last year, which is almost double her estimated total monthly mortgage payment based on information provided on her financial disclosure. In a recent interview, his first comment on the matter since the Journal-Constitution story, Warnock said that the stipend only covered his residence in Atlanta: “The church doesn’t cover my residence in DC at all. Disclosure is on.”

“You know, part of it was [taking] For a long time I worked at Ebenezer Church,” Warnock said of the housing stipend.

Republicans spent months in 2020 running ads that called Warnock a Marxist sympathizer and exaggerated his previous statements to frame him as a radical left-wing enthusiast.

“It didn’t work. I don’t think it will ever work,” a Republican official in the Senate race said, addressing the hot-button topic on condition of anonymity, adding to the message from the previous cycle “basically was yelling for an angry black man as a racist stereotype. Pulpit.” Warnock is only the second black senator elected from the South since Reconstruction.

So far this year, the GOP has dropped attacks of socialism, instead contrasting federally funded projects with pocketbook struggles of middle-class Georgians in ads for President Joe Biden’s agenda and the Democrats’ “liberal spending spree” .

Officials with three entities involved in GOP advertising spending for the Georgia race told Politico they are looking at paid media strategies that expose Warnock’s personal financial system.

On the other hand, Warnock’s campaign and other Democratic-aligned groups have attacked Walker’s own personal and professional problems as Republicans. A Democratic group has just launched an ad featuring Walker saying he wants to kill a man.

Given Warnock’s powerful biography, Democrats are not worried about the new GOP strategy. Warnock’s fellow Georgia Democratic Senator, john osoffsaid that his state is grateful to be “represented by a pastor who holds the Dr. King’s Pulpit at Ebenezer Baptist Church.”

“I can say with confidence that in the last 100 years of Senate history, there has been no one like him,” Sen said. Corey Booker (DNJ).

Democrats are not against going after Republican assets, the Senate majority killing Pac Sen. ron johnson (R-Wis.) In a new ad. And some Republicans are wary of making the Georgia race about Warnock or Walker personally.

“He is a bright boy and he is a good pastor. I like him. We just have a different philosophy,” Sen said. john kennedy (R-La.) “I’ll say positive things about Herschel, but I’m not going to say anything bad about Sen. Warnock.”

Since joining the Senate, Warnock has distinguished himself as the cycle’s most prolific fundraiser. Campaign finance records show that in the seven-month period ending March 2021, Warnock used campaign funds for $61,000 in childcare expenses. This includes a nanny service and reimbursement of $11,800 in childcare that she previously paid out of pocket.

Divorced Warnock shared custody of their two young children. The Federal Election Commission allows candidates and office-holders to use campaign funds to cover childcare during the campaign, as supported by members of both parties.

Warnock is also facing an FEC complaint filed by the NRSC concerning the use of campaign funds for representation in a lawsuit stemming from pre-2005 allegations, long before he entered or ran for office.

“It’s hard for him to stand up and say he’s not benefiting from the people’s seat,” Walker said last month, calling Warnock a “hypocrite,” calling his 2020 GOP rival a start to outperform his stock portfolio. used his Senate seat for of covid.

On top of domestic violence allegations against Walker, in which an ex-wife said he held a gun to her head, she has also lied about working in law enforcement and graduate college. The Daily Beast also revealed their three previously unknown children.

The Warnock campaign has repeatedly run ads about Walker’s alleged character flaws, although Republicans have stayed within striking distance in the polls.

Walker is “unconventional…” in this environment. That’s what people are looking for,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RSD).

When it comes to Warnock’s finances, Thune said, “Any of it is fair game. … Elections are about differences. God knows he’s attacked Herschel on all kinds of stuff.”

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