Local paper blasts Iowa Republican for claiming ethics probe is a conspiracy


The GOP culture of corruption grows as Rep. Rod Blum is the target of a congressional ethics investigation.

Iowa's embattled Republican Rep. Rod Blum is lashing out and making wild accusations as Congress moves forward with an investigation into his sketchy business activity.

But Blum's local paper, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, chastised Blum for blaming others for self-inflicted problems.

The bipartisan House Ethics Committee is looking into Blum's failure to disclose a business he founded during his first term in Congress.

The business, Tin Moon, is an internet marketing firm that, according to the Associated Press, sold services such as helping "companies cited for federal food and drug safety violations bury their Food and Drug Administration warning letters below positive internet search results."

In reprimanding Blum, the Gazette dryly quipped, "It's not exactly the sort of public service a congressman usually provides."

Blum's ethics news came shortly after the indictment of two other Republican congressmen, Reps. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Duncan Hunter (R-CA). Collins faces charges of insider trading, while Hunter faces charges of misusing campaign funds for personal gain.

In response to the investigation, Blum "is ripping a page from the president’s media-bashing playbook to fire up his political base as he faces a tough bid for re-election," says the Gazette.

Blum used his social media accounts to attack the AP reporter who broke the story, including posting the reporter's personal cell phone number online. He also claimed, with no evidence, that the investigation was cooked up by the "radical left."

Evan as Blum seeks to avoid responsibility for his actions, the Gazette notes, "it seems Blum's problems are self-inflicted."

Beyond Blum's ethical problems, the Gazette points out a pattern of troubling behavior.

Blum has, over the past 16 months, avoided open public events and town halls where he would face questions from constituents. He's publicly rebuked journalists asking fair questions. Now, he paints an ethics inquiry as a partisan conspiracy.

As Blum desperately casts blame on anyone but himself, election experts note his re-election campaign is in danger.

Cook Political Report changed their rating of the race from a "Toss up" to "Lean D," giving a slight edge to Blum's opponent, Abby Finkenauer. FiveThirtyEight goes further, listing the race as "Solid D," and listing several polls showing Blum trailing Finkenauer.

Yet Blum fights on, blaming anyone and everyone else for the problems he brought upon himself.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.