Rep. John Campbell Targeted in House Ethics Probe

The Newport Beach Republican who represents much of south Orange County is among a group of congressional lawmakers being scrutinized in a House of Representatives ethics investigation, according to Washington, D.C. newspaper the Hill

The probe apparently centers around financial regulation for an industry that John Campbell, a former used-car salesman and dealership owner, knows well: the automotive industry.
The Office of Congressional Ethics

has asked lobbyists for fundraising information pertaining to three Democrats and five Republicans in Congress, Campbell among them. While details are still murky,

the Hill

reports that it appears as though questions have arisen about an amendment that had been offered by Rep. 

Mel Watt 

(D-North Carolina) for the financial-reform bill passed earlier this year. The amendment would have put franchise car dealerships that provide lending under the regulatory oversight of a new consumer protection agency. 

Following a fundraiser for Watt that seems to have been well-attended by companies with an interest in seeing less regulation of auto loans, Watt withdrew the amendment. Campbell then apparently publicly thanked Watt for working with and listening to concerns that Campbell had relayed to him. 

Days earlier, Campbell had held two fundraisers. During the same period, a number of financial-services companies with auto-financing arms donated money to him.

A spokesman for Campbell told the newspaper that the probe was "routine." Read more here.


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