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Amanda Becker

Bio:

Amanda Becker covers ethics and investigations as a staff writer at Roll Call. Prior to joining the influence team, she wrote about law and lobbying for the Washington Postís Capital Business and the business of law at the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

A Cincinnati native, Amanda is a graduate of Indiana University and the University of Southern Californiaís Annenberg School, where she received her masterís in journalism. She currently lives in the Petworth neighborhood of the District.

Becker no longer works for Roll Call.

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Stories by Amanda Becker:

Ethics Launches Investigation of Richardson — Again

Nov. 4, 2011

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday voted to start a formal investigation into whether Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.) compelled her Hill staffers to attend campaign events, run personal errands and work on her re-election effort in violation of Congressional ethics rules.

Ethics Office Revises Third-Quarter Activity Report

Nov. 3, 2011

The Office of Congressional Ethics revised its third-quarter report today to reflect amended case statistics for matters currently under its review.

Theft Hits Races in California

Nov. 2, 2011

More than $5.2 million is missing from the campaign coffers of California Democrats on the Hill, and hundreds of thousands more are unavailable for withdrawal in the wake of an alleged embezzlement scandal.

Legal Fees Eat Into Campaign Coffers

Nov. 1, 2011

The campaigns of current and former lawmakers paid tens of thousands of dollars last quarter to defend Members involved in ethics inquiries, hire investigative firms and settle lawsuits brought by staffers, according to a Roll Call examination of Federal Election Commission filings.

Ethics Office Launching Fewer Cases Than a Year Ago

Oct. 31, 2011

The Office of Congressional Ethics began five new investigations in the third quarter of 2011, bringing the total number of preliminary ethics inquiries begun in the 112th Congress to 18, according to a report released by the office today.

CREW Requests Schmidt Investigation

Oct. 26, 2011

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Rep. Jean Schmidt lied to the fact-finding body and the House Ethics Committee during prior inquiries into whether the Ohio Republican accepted free legal services in violation of Congressional gift rules.

Richmond Campaign Paid Surveillance Firm

Oct. 24, 2011

Just days after Democrat Cedric Richmond unseated GOP Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao in his 2010 bid for re-election in Louisiana’s 2nd district, Richmond’s campaign received a bill from an investigations firm that specializes in covert video surveillance, court records searches and serving subpoenas.

Ethics Committee Restarts Probe of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Oct. 18, 2011

The House Ethics Committee announced this afternoon that it would resume its consideration of possible ethics violations committed by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) now that a suspension requested by the Justice Department has been withdrawn.

Justice Department Probing Rep. Vern Buchanan

Oct. 18, 2011

The Justice Department is investigating whether Rep. Vern Buchanan broke campaign finance laws by directing his former business partner to reimburse car dealership employees for contributions made to the Florida Republican’s Congressional campaigns.

Africa Trip Blurs Lines on Travel Propriety

Oct. 18, 2011

In mid-August, four Members of Congress took an ecotourism trip to South Africa and Botswana. The whole trip was paid for by a nonprofit group called the International Conservation Caucus Foundation, which is closely linked to four lobbying organizations and a roster of corporate interests.

Solyndra Collapse Sparks K Street Rush

Oct. 11, 2011

The renewable energy industry is facing a watershed moment, and many firms are taking the traditional route to safety — by calling on K Street for help.

GOP: Memos Prove Holder Knew Early About Fast and Furious

Oct. 6, 2011

Republican lawmakers today released five memos that they say showed Attorney General Eric Holder had knowledge of a controversial weapons program as early as July 2010, months before when he told the House Judiciary Committee he learned of a controversial weapons program that funneled weapons into Mexico.

Republicans Seek Investigation of Holder on Gun Program

Oct. 4, 2011

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today called for an independent investigation into whether Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself during a recent committee hearing on a controversial weapons program.

Congress’ August Travel Bill Sky-High

Oct. 3, 2011

The amount of money spent in August sending Members of Congress on privately financed travel shattered previous monthly records, with outside groups spending more than $1.5 million, according to a Roll Call analysis of recently filed travel disclosure forms.

Heard on the Hill: K Street, Schmay Street

Oct. 3, 2011

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns describes his latest project as a series about the most effective lobbying campaign in American history.

Campaign Groups Challenge Tax-Free Status of Political Nonprofits

Sept. 28, 2011

Two campaign finance reform groups on Tuesday called on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether nonprofit organizations that have become popular vehicles for injecting millions of dollars into political campaigns are eligible for the tax-exempt status they currently claim.

Ethics Watchdogs Rise to John Edwards’ Defense

Sept. 21, 2011

A government watchdog group best known for pushing to prosecute wayward lawmakers endorsed former Sen. John Edwards’ request have a criminal case against him dismissed.

Obama Pushes for Whistle-Blower Bill

Sept. 20, 2011

The White House on Tuesday urged Congress to take up a long-stalled effort to enhance protections for government whistle-blowers as part of a larger multinational project to promote government transparency joined by President Barack Obama at the United Nations.

Campaigns Face Costs of Scandal

Sept. 16, 2011

Dozens of California Democratic campaigns and political committees may be facing huge legal bills, fines and other costs as they begin to unpack the alleged embezzlement by the prominent campaign treasurer who handled the finances for about 400 client accounts.

Deficit Committee Member Kerry Gives Up Fundraising

Sept. 12, 2011

Sen. John Kerry told the Boston Globe today that he will take a hiatus from fundraising until his work on the deficit committee is finished in late November.

Members Flock to Israel With Travel Loophole

Sept. 9, 2011

Four years after Congress enacted new rules barring groups that lobby from paying for House Members to take long trips, dozens of lawmakers traveled to Israel this summer with staffers and family members for seven-day tours paid for by the nonprofit arm of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Hastings Stands Atop List of Poorest Members

Sept. 9, 2011

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) grabbed the title of poorest Member of Congress in Roll Call’s annual survey of lawmakers’ wealth this year, thanks to decades-old legal bills he incurred in the 1980s defending charges that he had taken bribes as a federal judge in Florida.

California Embezzlement Case Might Touch Many Campaigns

Sept. 6, 2011

A campaign treasurer who has handled the finances of top California Democrats will remain in custody until she next appears in a federal courtroom on Friday, following an initial brief appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi late Tuesday.

3M Takes Suit Against Lanny Davis to D.C. District Court

Aug. 31, 2011

The Minnesota-based company 3M sued lawyer, lobbyist and public relations guru Lanny Davis last week, accusing him of orchestrating a “smear campaign” on behalf of a client trying to settle a breach-of-contract claim.

Bachmann Clinic, Family Farm Worth Up to $2.8M

Aug. 15, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann has assets worth up to $2.8 million, the largest of which are the building housing her husband’s psychotherapy clinic and a family farm, according to disclosure forms she filed late Friday.

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