A Politico video featuring the chief of staff for Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been removed by the Washington publication after ethical questions were raised.
In a story first reported by Roll Call, an idea was pitched to McConnell chief of staff Josh Holmes to appear in a video endorsing Politico’s coverage. It shows Holmes explaining his vision for America, love of public service and why he reads Politico all while sitting in the senator’s office.
What’s problematic is Senate ethics rules explicitly bar lawmakers or their staffers from endorsing outside products or groups in any official capacity. Holmes filmed the video inside McConnell’s office and identifies himself as the senator’s top staffer.
Holmes did ask the video be taken down when he learned it was being used as an advertisement.
An e-mail sent from Politico’s vice president of marketing to Holmes on May 6, however, clearly indicates it would use it on the publication’s about page and at events. The same message also pitches the idea as a “profile of (Holmes) first.”