US & World

WikiLeaks reveals Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's aid to campaign contributors

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher
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The most recent WikiLeaks revelations mention an Orange County Congressman’s trip to Honduras with a pair of campaign contributors trying to do business with that country. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher says the trip was neither illegal nor out of the ordinary.

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach flew to Honduras earlier this year to congratulate its new president. He invited a group of constituents along to – as he put it – see their Congressman in action.

State Department notes revealed in Wikileaks say that two people in the party were businessmen who’d made campaign contributions to Rohrabacher. One, a coin dealer, was trying to land a deal to sell rare coins; the other heads a biofuel company trying to contract with farmers to grow a particular plant. Rohrabacher, a senior member of the US House Foreign Affairs and Science Committees, says campaign contributions had nothing to do with the trip. "We promote companies," he says, "not only just from our districts, but from all over the United States to foreign governments and foreign markets all the time."

He referred to a recent meeting with the US Ambassador to India. "I was pushing the C-17, which happens to be made in Southern California. I got no apologies for that. And does Boeing contribute to my campaign? Well, of course they do! There’s nothing sinister about that at all. We’re supposed to be doing good things and part of good things we’re doing is help American business whenever we can."

Rohrabacher says neither man on the Honduras trip was a big contributor.

House rules say members cannot solicit campaign contributions linked with representatives’ official actions.