DemLabs blog

Follow the money and scandals behind James Comer

People in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones.

"The Republican leading the probe of Hunter Biden has his own shell company and complicated friends... As Comer works to “deliver the transparency and accountability that the American people demand” through the GOP’s investigation, his own finances and relationships have begun to draw notice, too, including his ties to prominent local figures who have complicated pasts not all that dissimilar to some of those caught up in his Biden probe." - Associated Press.

DemLabs teamed up with Democracy Partners to research this further. Follow the money and scandals behind James Comer (R-KY) with this interactive map.

Follow the money and scandals behind James Comer

Lucrative Land Deal

"James Comer Launched The Shell Company When He Signed A Lucrative Land Deal With A High Dollar Donor Days Before Running For Congress. The Value of His Land Has Increased Significantly Since Then. “Comer created the [shell] company in 2017 to hold his stake in the six acres that he purchased two years earlier in a joint venture with Darren Cleary, a major campaign contributor and construction contractor from Monroe County, Kentucky, where the congressman was born and raised. It’s not clear how Comer came to invest with Cleary, who did not respond to an interview request.

They have offered mutual praise for each other over the years, including Comer having called Cleary ‘my friend’ and ‘the epitome of a successful businessperson’ from the House floor. Cleary, his businesses and family have donated roughly $70,000 to Comer’s various campaigns, records show. He has also lauded Comer on social media for ‘For Fighting For Us Everyday’ and has posted photos of the two on a golf course together. At the time he and Comer entered their venture, [Darren] Cleary was selling an acre of his family’s land to Kentucky so it could build a highway bypass near Tompkinsville, which was completed in 2020." Congressional Integrity Project and AP

Follow the money and scandals behind James Comer

Enraged over abortion clinic visit

Marilyn Thomas, a former girlfriend said Comer became "enraged" in 1991 after they visited a Louisville abortion clinic and learned that she had used his real name on a form requiring proof that she had an escort to drive her home. Thomas said she still has paperwork from the visit to the clinic. "I kept that piece of paper as a reminder of what desperation and rock bottom feel like. For more than 20 years, that piece of paper has been a source of anxiety and shame. But it was mine. It was only mine."

Billy Proffitt, an auctioneer and real estate agent in Comer's hometown of Tompkinsville and Comer's roommate in college, however, said he never saw Comer be abusive toward Thomas. - Courier Journal

Make it clear with a RELATIONSHIP MAP

This map was created with the free Kumu app using public sources including the excellent AP article "The Republican leading the probe of Hunter Biden has his own shell company and complicated friends" and Congressional Integrity Project.

Relationship maps present information visually so it is easy to explore and dig into. It's also easier to see the relationships between people and groups, as well as the financial interests between people.

TakeAway: Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Make sure people get all the facts about the politicians they are paying to represent them.

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.

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