House Republican's reelection campaign took on child sex predator as volunteer

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Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) has said politicians should be judged by 'who they hang around with.'

A House Republican who has waged a crusade to "protect" children from a "woke political agenda" once hired a man as a volunteer on her reelection campaign who pleaded guilty to trying to lure a child for sex.

Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) hired Brad Graven, who in 2005 pleaded guilty to soliciting a 14-year-old boy for sex, as a volunteer on her reelection campaign, according to a report from St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK.

In 2003, Graven, then an Illinois state employee, was unwittingly speaking in an online chat room to a police officer who was posing as a 14-year-old boy, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune from the time. Graven was set to meet who he thought was the boy in a drug store parking lot, but was instead met by police who arrested him.

Now, more than 15 years after his guilty plea, Miller brought Graven on as a volunteer on her campaign, tasking him with collecting signatures for her ballot position, chauffeuring her to events, and raising money for her campaign, KSDK News reported.

Miller, for her part, has been one of the loudest voices in the right-wing quest to "protect" children from critical race theory teaching. She's also attacked Democrats for supporting transgender youth, saying that allowing gender-affirming health care is "extreme," and urged supporters to "protect our children" by banning such care.

What's more, Miller has also said multiple times that people should be judged by the company they keep.

"A politician is known by their votes and by who they hang around with," Miller said at an event on Monday night, according to KSDK News.

She also told Republicans at a local Lincoln Day Dinner, "I always told my children that I could tell a lot about who they are by who they hang around with. It's the same thing in D.C. with the adults."

Miller's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment from the American Independent Foundation about whether, given her comments about judging people by who they hang out with, she thinks it was a mistake to bring on Graven as a volunteer on her campaign. The campaign also did not return a request for comment about whether Graven still is volunteering for Miller after KSDK News' story broke.

This is not the freshman Republican's first controversy.

Miller spoke at a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., the day before the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection and praised genocidal Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler.

"Hitler was right on one thing. He said, 'Whoever has the youth has the future,'" Miller said at the rally.

Miller is endorsed by former President Donald Trump in her campaign for a second term in Congress.

In his endorsement, Trump praised Miller as a strong opponent of the "radical indoctrination of our children."

"Mary has my Complete and Total endorsement!" Trump wrote in January.

In fact, Miller held a campaign event at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida in April and tweeted a photo of her shaking Trump's hand.

Miller said in April that Trump has pledged to travel to her district to campaign for her.

Miller is also endorsed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who in recent weeks has been in a war with Catholic leaders for saying she "stopped attending Catholic Mass when I became a mother because I realized that I could not trust the Church leadership to protect my children from pedophiles and that they harbored monsters even in their own ranks."

The decennial redistricting process forced Miller into a new seat that pits her against fellow Republican Rep. Rodney Davis.

Davis' campaign attacked Miller for hiring Graven as a volunteer.

"Mary Miller likes to say politicians are known by the people they hang around with," Aaron DeGroot, a spokesman for Davis' campaign, told KSDK News. "If that's the case, she must explain why a man who served jail time for soliciting sex from a minor on the internet is working for her campaign. Miller's silence on this says a lot about her character and lack of judgment."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.