Tuesday, December 12, 2006
A paragoon of virtue: GOP Congressman Gary Miller
William Heisel, LAT
(rearranged for clarity).
With community activists packed into the Monrovia Community Center one winter night in 2000, U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) implored City Council members to purchase 165 acres he owned in the foothills and turn the land into a wilderness preserve. ... [Councilman Robert] Hammond ultimately voted in favor of purchasing Miller's land for about $12 million. The deal was approved unanimously. ...
A real estate developer and one of the wealthiest members of Congress, Miller, 58, routinely asked his staff to handle personal errands, such as helping his children with schoolwork, searching for rock concert tickets and sending flowers to family members and friends, according to documents reviewed by The Times.
Federal law prohibits members of Congress from using their staff for anything other than official work. ...
Miller has also collected nearly $25,000 a year in rent from his campaign committee in each of the last three elections by using the offices of his real estate development firm in Diamond Bar as his campaign office.
Under federal election law such rents are considered self-enrichment unless a member can demonstrate that the private offices were used for legitimate campaign purposes. ...
Miller had worked with Lewis Operating Corp. to shelter an estimated $10 million in real estate profits from capital gains taxes.
... Over the years Miller has been the biggest recipient of the campaign money that he raised from people in his district and big donors such as the National Assn. of Homebuilders, according to campaign finance records.
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