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GOP Lawmaker Abuses Power To Try To Fire Someone For Protesting. Now He’s Facing Consequences

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) used his position to target a local liberal activist through a fundraising letter to her employer. Now he’s facing an ethics complain.

On Tuesday, the Campaign for Accountability filed a complaint to the office of Congressional Ethics. They demanded a review to see if Frelinghuysen violated House rules.

“If, as it appears, Rep. Frelinghuysen used his position as one of the most powerful members of the House of Representatives to coerce a New Jersey bank into constructively terminating an employee because she exercised her First Amendment rights to oppose him politically, his conduct does not reflect creditably on the House,” the Campaign for Accountability wrote to the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Frelinghuysen sent out a letter to a board member of the activist’s employer, a local bank.

“But let’s be clear that there are organized forces — both national and local — who are already hard at work to put a stop to an agenda of limited government, economic growth, stronger national security,” the letter says.
A hand-written asterisk is marked above the word “local,” with a note on the bottom reading: “P.S. One of the ringleaders works in your bank!”

A news article quoting Avelenda was attached to the letter. She spoke with WNYC and stated that her boss came to her with the letter and news article and asked for an explanation.

“I thought my Congressman put them in a situation, and put me in a really bad situation as the constituent, and used his name, used his position and used his stationery to try to punish me,” Avelenda told WNYC.

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