Following Primary Loss, Kansas Rep. Watkins Faces House Ethics Investigation

August 14, 2020by Bryan Lowry, McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS)
Republican candidate for the U.S. House in Kansas' 2nd district Steve Watkins speaks at a rally with President Donald Trump at the Kansas Expocenter on October 6, 2018 in Topeka, Kansas. Watkins will face a House Ethics investigation during his final months in Congress. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Kansas Republican Rep. Steve Watkins will face a House Ethics investigation during his final months in Congress.

Watkins, a freshman Republican from Topeka, lost his primary last week to Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner after he was charged with three felonies in Shawnee County on July 14.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay’s office has accused Watkins of illegally voting in the 2019 municipal election and of lying to a Shawnee County detective.

Watkins has acknowledged that he voted in the wrong city council district after using the address of a Topeka UPS store on his voter registration, but he has denied intentional wrongdoing and decried his prosecution as politically motivated.

The U.S. House Committee on Ethics announced Thursday that it voted unanimously to establish an investigative subcommittee to determine whether Watkins “falsely reported information to a law enforcement officer” and “voted in an election district without being lawfully registered to vote.”

The panel will be led by Rep. Anthony Brown, a Maryland Democrat who represents the Washington suburbs.

Watkins, who stepped down from his committee assignments last month in face of the charges, did not immediately respond to a question about the House inquiry.

He made his first public comment since losing his primary on Thursday with a post on Twitter celebrating the news that Israel and the United Arab Emirates would normalize relations following U.S. diplomatic efforts.

———

©2020 McClatchy Washington Bureau

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Congress

Select Committee Makes Final Recommendation on How to Fix Congress
Congress
Select Committee Makes Final Recommendation on How to Fix Congress
September 25, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - An 18-month effort to make Congress work better and retain staff more effectively came to an end Thursday, when the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress announced its final list of recommendations. Created by an overwhelming bipartisan vote at the beginning of... Read More

Democrats Push for Climate Change Bills Similar to Biden’s Proposals
Congress
Democrats Push for Climate Change Bills Similar to Biden’s Proposals
September 25, 2020
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats used a hearing on climate change Thursday to advocate for pending clean energy bills that would revamp a big swath of federal regulations. Record-setting wildfires in western states and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast are adding to the fervor for aggressive environmental... Read More

For Democrats, Infrastructure Equals Fighting Climate Change and Creating Jobs
Energy
For Democrats, Infrastructure Equals Fighting Climate Change and Creating Jobs

WASHINGTON — In Democratic politics, and infrastructure and fighting climate change have become increasingly synonymous: You can’t have one without the other. Take the $494 billion surface transportation bill that House Democrats passed July 1. Republicans criticized it as an outgrowth of the Green New Deal.... Read More

House Democrats Drafting $2.4 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill
Congress
House Democrats Drafting $2.4 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed House committee leaders to put together a more slender coronavirus relief package than the one that previously passed the chamber, in their latest offer in talks with the White House. The House could vote on that as-yet-unreleased $2.4 trillion... Read More

Report Highlights Series of Proposals to Reverse Capitol Hill Brain Drain
Congress
Report Highlights Series of Proposals to Reverse Capitol Hill Brain Drain
September 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - In their recent report of Capitol Hill staffing issues, authors Alexandra Furnas and Timothy LaPira paint a harrowing picture of a culture that basically pushes its best resource -- its people -- to the private sector and away from public service. But Furnas and... Read More

Report: Bad Pay, Long Hours, Lure of Greener Grass, Leads to Capitol Hill Exodus
Congress
Report: Bad Pay, Long Hours, Lure of Greener Grass, Leads to Capitol Hill Exodus
September 24, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Thanks to its woefully low pay and long hours, Capitol Hill is proving to be a "funnel" to lucrative jobs in lobbying, leaving congressional offices in a perpetual state of brain drain, a new report has found. Published by New America, the public policy... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top