Election cycle after election cycle for decades, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher turned campaign donations into his family’s personal income by diverting money to relatives, including his wife.
In the last election cycle that resulted in voters finally booting Rohrabacher after 30 years, he gave more than $137,000 to wife Rhonda and her twin sister, Rachelle.
Rhonda received at least $5,158 a month supposedly for campaign manager duties and pocketed another $11,014 in the weeks after the historic loss, according to reports filed at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in Washington, D.C.
Rohrabacher—long Orange County’s senior career politician who campaigned originally in 1988 as a term limits “champion” but sought his 31stand 32ndyears in office—ran the perfect scam to bolster his perk-loaded $174,000 annual congressional pay.
FEC records show the self-promoted 71-year-old “surfin’ congressman” (who has been spotted confronting puny one-foot waves while lying on boogieboards) paid actual professional campaign managers and consultants at least $608,977 from contributions while pretending his wife was doing the work.
At several points over the years, the Rohrabachers personally consumed more than 20 percent of incoming, annual re-election campaign contributions.
Rohrabacher, hailed as Vladimir Putin’s “favorite congressman,” also diverted campaign donations to pay Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel in the nation’s capital $11,000 at the same time he lobbied the White House for an administration position.
The Costa Mesa Republican wanted to impress the incoming president and his staff in early 2017, paying more than $130,667 in campaign funds for a post-inauguration food and booze-catered party, according to the FEC reports.
Because congress writes the rules that govern campaign spending and have given themselves extremely wide latitude, it’s not likely Rohrabacher’s suspicious disbursements violate any law.
The congressman took advantage of another financial loophole by launching fundraising campaigns to benefit birthday parties for his triplets, as the Weekly disclosed in 2014.
According to non-public records I obtained, 11 corporate executives, two billionaires, seven lobbyists, four corporations and two convicted felons secretly forked over at least $33,000 to Rohrabacher for just one of the parties.
The 15-term congressman was desperate to keep his lofty perch that gave him access to a continual flow of money. He spread at least two outrageous lies in his last campaign. He suggested to Little Saigon community voters, dominated by South Vietnamese war refugee families, that he fought in that nation’s combat against communists; when, in fact, he chickened out of all military service at the time. And he produced last-minute television ads proclaiming he forcefully supported pre-existing conditions legislative demands on insurance companies when, in undeniable fact, he spent his entire career thwarting such protections.
Harley Rouda now represents the coastal Orange County congressional district.
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.
29 Replies to “To the End, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Diverted Campaign Funds to Family Accounts”
Rhonda is a great campaig manager, and I saw her organizing multiple events. She was justly paid.
No, she like her greedy Putin loving husband took Orange County for a financial ride while doing nothing for the county that could be counted on one hand. Anyone has organizational skills to throw a party. Don’t even go there.
For me to poop on…
Open your eyes.
So you support the former congressman having paid for 2 campaign managers ?
I love you guys! Keep up the good work. Long live the OC Weekly
Lock him up!
Good riddance, scumbag.
I totally agree. He is a traitor and a thief.
your so full of shit. I have worked close with the congressman and his family. he is as honest as they come and Rhonda, while yes, is his wife, worked 18 hour days 7 days a week for his campaign. there is no suspicious or wrong doing here.
leave your partisan, divisive and bullshit comments where they belong….in the toilet
Name one accomplishment that rohrabacher did for Orange County that you can tell us about? The whole family are grifters, just like Donald Trump. They are also Putin loving, possible Russian assets. But, putting that aside, again name one thing, just one thing, that rohrabacher did while in Congress for Orange County? Just one! I know that you can’t so you go put your head in the toilet where it belongs. Shameful!
She was busy alright.. Her past election fraud convictions prove that. Pled out by leveraging her husband’s connections.
Well past time they are retired.
Looks like the reporter hit a nerve.
I’m sure his wife has been involved in the family business in some way. Still fishy about donations for birthday parties for his kids, though.
When did she have time to “homeschool” the kids if she was working 126 hours a week for this campaign?
Thank You MLT…I agree!!! Dems (Rouda) only won this 48th Orange County District after Over THIRTY Years because of “ballot harvesting” and Demrat California Election FRAUD practices!!!! ?
Cheryl: Bull, I am an ex-Republican who has wanted Rohrabacher out for years. His butt kissing to Putin REALLY BOTHERS ME!! And I left the party because it no longer represents the common people or the middle class, just the upper 1 or 5%.
You are a moron.
She’s so honest – that’s why she was accused, admitted, prosecuted & sentenced for 2 election fraud felonies. Great people.
Cheryl, funny how your side whined relentlessly that the Dems couldn’t handle Trump’s win. Now just look who’s unable to deal with Harley Rouda whipping Rohrabacher’s corrupt, gelatinous rear end. You and your side are. Hypocrite much?
I will not be surprised when indictments come down for him from the Mueller Investigation. He’s dirty.
*GRIN* Oh these comments are giving me LIFE! So much life that we must remind everyone exactly how “honest” she was that garnered her a lovely little title of felon. She worked especially hard being his beard. Ask the gay surfers over in Sunset just how hard she worked for him, in covering up his trail.
Gabriel , MLT, & Cheryl thank you for the Wednesday night funnies. I have imagined each of you jumping up & down , saying “ no no no”
As you read the article , perhaps even aloud to your significant other. Claiming all the while how the former congressman & his felonious wife have been wronged by the Democratic Party. How they are honest people who would never lie, cheat or steal. Well the two of the three facts have proved they have bothe lies and his wife has stolen. #lieingthievingrohrbachers
Haha crooked congressman parties with conservatives donations. I’m supposed to be mad? The same core have donated his entire career, they knew what they were in for. The MAGA suckers that donated out of hate; lol, reap the wirlwind. #bluewave
I’m no Rohrbacher fan, but I can see paying his wife. She’s has previous political experience — enough to get in trouble. Plus, her salary of $62k is about average for what campaign managers make.
Plus, wives of congressmen should get paid anyway. First ladies, too. You practically have to raise your kids alone, stay out of trouble and submit to intrusive, ongoing scrutiny, not to mention all the political, charitable and social duties.
Then again, these congressmen never come out of Congress broke, do they? You’d think they’d be feeling some pain after maintaining two residences in expensive DC and then at home.
At least the gravy train for the Rohrbachers has stopped. Hope he’s saved his rubles.
Rohrabacher is the best reason for TERM LIMITS.
And term limits NOW!