Over the past 10 years, Rep. Luis Gutierrez has paid a Chicago lobbyist more than $500,000 in taxpayer funds to work side-by-side with his congressional staff.
Lobbyist Doug Scofield, Gutierrez’s former chief of staff, can train staff, review and help draft news releases, and help “publicize programs and activities” of the congressman, among other things. He can do all that and still not be counted as a member of Gutierrez’s official staff. Instead, Scofield is paid as a contractor providing “training” under a contract approved by the Committee on House Administration.
“It looks like classic Chicago cronyism,” said Kathy Kiely, managing editor at the non-profit Sunlight Foundation. “It’s really tantamount to a political patronage job.”