Lawmaker’s Red Carpeted Office Draws Call for Ethics Inquiry

Aaron SchockIllinois Congressman Congressman, Aaron Schock, may face ethics investigation after a panel viewed and examined his lavishly decorated office modeled after the TV show “Downton Abbey.” Schock is now facing an inquisition from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group asked to look into his interior décor and any violation of House rules.

Comments were unavailable from the Republican’s team as his spokesman declined to speak, as did the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Ethics Committee.

1920s Inspired Décor

Interior decorator Annie Brahler gave her service for free to make over Schock’s Washington office. She donned the room with red carpet and red walls, and details such as antique-looking frames and sconces suggest Downton Abbey aesthetics, a popular PBS show that depicts the lives of an aristocratic family and their servants in 1920s England.

While the decorations is strongly likened to Downton Abbey, Schock said he has never seen the show.

“Perhaps it’s not totally surprising that the same congressman who spent campaign money on P90X workout DVDs wanted to create a more picturesque setting in which to be photographed, but the rules clearly require him to pay for those renovations himself,” Anne Weismann, the watchdog group’s interim executive director, was quoted saying.

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Members of Congress are prohibited by House rules to accept gifts or services valued more than $50. The rules, however, include numerous exemptions, including one that allows gifts from personal friends. Brahler had offered her services for free, although Schock still spent an undisclosed sum of money for the objects.

“I’m Different”

At 33 and in his prime, Schock told ABC News, “I’ve never been an old crusty white guy. I’m different. I came to Congress at 27.When I go take a personal vacation I don’t’ sit on the beach, I go do active things.And so, I’m also not going to live in a cave. So when I post an Instagram photo with me and my friends, as Taylor Swift said, ‘Haters gonna hate’.”

Definitely more contemporary than his colleagues, Schock remains steadfast in his principles. He claims that the color of his walls is irrelevant, as long as you do your job well.

The Ethics Committee continues their investigation following allegations that Schock violated federal law and House rules by soliciting donations of more than $5,000 per donor to a super political action committee that backed an Illinois colleague in 2012, and in 2013 when he solicited campaign contributions for a committee that backed Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

His spokesman maintains the representative did nothing wrong.

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