Congressman Gary Miller, the Rolling Stones, and Campaign Business
During the past few days I’ve reported here on Congressman Gary Miller’s misrepresentations about his military service. As I had noted in the original story, Miller has also been involved in a number of ethics matters.
In 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that four former Miller staffers complained that he “brought his congressional muscle to bear on personal business matters.” One of the staffers (all whom were granted anonymity) said, “There was never a clear line in the office between what was congressional business and what was just business. The expectation was that you would do both.”
There was also this:
Miller has, on several occasions, interrupted his staff’s congressional work to send them hunting for concert tickets. A die-hard Rolling Stones fan, Miller learned in May 2002 that the band was coming to Edison Field in Anaheim that October. “Per his instructions, we are checking with city officials, Edison contacts, etc., to see what we can come up with,” an e-mail written by an aide to Miller’s chief of staff states.
A few days later, the staff was told by Miller’s chief of staff to look for tickets to a Staples Center concert as well, according to e-mails. By May 29, a Miller staffer had prepared a memo outlining four options for getting tickets. The most promising was for the Edison Field show. “I spoke to Greg Smith, who handles tickets,” the aide wrote to Miller. “He said for you not to worry, they would try and take care of you.”
Miller even did a little legwork himself. Using congressional letterhead, he sent a fax to the head of Ticketmaster’s public affairs office. The message was short: “I am requesting four (4) very good seats for the Rolling Stones concert on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2002 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Please contact me as soon as possible.”
It has also been reported that through 2007 Miller had paid his own development company more than $100,000 for rent on his California congressional office. I found some other interesting spending by Miller’s campaign, including almost $22,000 in 2009 for rent payable to Miller’s company. In January of that year his campaign spent $3,700 for limousine services and over the course of 2009 it spent about $5,000 on “gifts” from the Tiny Jewel Box, Macy’s and Crate and Barrel. And in 2008, the campaign paid Miller’s son, Brian, about $6,500 for distributing and taking down signs.