HT to OC Weekly, but TheÂ Hill newspaper is reporting that OC Congressman John Campbell is the subject of a House ethics probe that focuses on an amendment by Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC) to the financial regulatory reform bill that passed late last year.Â Campbell is one of several congressional reps being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics; Campbell actually opposed the Watt amendment which would haveÂ included auto dealers under the oversight of a proposed finance industry watchdog,.Â This Consumer Financial Protection Agency would oversee companies that provide auto financing, and used-car dealers offering â€œbuy here, pay hereâ€ financing. Without Wattâ€™s amendment, franchised auto dealers would be exempted.Â Campbell is a former automobile dealer in OC before getting involved in politics.
From the report:
“It is unclear whether the ethics office is investigating whether other members held suspect fundraisers close to a critical floor vote on regulatory reform.
The other lawmakers involved are Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Chris Lee (R-N.Y.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Tom Price (R-Ga.).
Campbell openly opposed the Watt amendment. After Watt withdrew it, he thanked him on the House floor for working with him and making â€œa number of suggestionsâ€ that â€œclarified some things that were, frankly, confusing and conflicting in the bill.â€
Campbell held two fundraisers just a few days before Watt withdrew the amendment. One was at the National Republican Congressional Committeeâ€™s Capitol Hill Club on Dec. 8, and another was a California wine tasting held December 9.
Several financial-services industry PACs contributed to Campbell around that date, including KPMG, Ameriprise, the Mortgage Bankers Association, Credit Suisse Securities, Charles Schwab and Ford Motor Co.
Â On Monday, Brent Hall, a spokesman for Campbell, called the OCE investigation â€œroutine.â€ Hall did not comment by press time on Tuesday.”