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Senator Raphael Warnock doubles his income just in a year

Democratic Party, Senator Raphael Warnock, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock


Senator Raphael Warnock doubles his income just in a year

Democratic Party’s Senator Raphael Warnock has more than doubled his income just within the span of a year since joining the Senate in 2021, with most of his half-a-million-dollar haul coming from outside employers and book deals.

According to his financial disclosure records, Senator Warnock disclosed a total income of US$532,781 in 2021, a significant bump from the US$221,602 he earned in the year before his election. Less than half of his income last year came from his Senate salary, which was US$164,816. Ebenezer Baptist Church paid him an additional US$120,964, including a US$7,417-per-month housing allowance. Penguin Random House also paid him US$243,750 as an advance on his memoir that was published in June, and he received US$5,750 in speaking fees.

Warnock’s spike in earnings comes two years after he accused his predecessor, former Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, of “using the people’s seat to enrich yourself”.

The income is likely to feed the perception that holding public office is a means to enrichment given how many lawmakers find a way to leverage their positions—over time—into multimillion-dollar fortunes. Warnock’s 100 percent income increase shows how quickly that can happen, as he’s doubled his take-home pay in just two years.

Senator Raphael Warnock has already drawn public scrutiny for some of his unusual financial arrangements. While senators are prohibited from accepting more than US$29,000 in outside income, Warnock raked in US$120,000 last year from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta—but dodged the income cap by taking most of that money as a “housing allowance”. He was also hit with election finance complaints in July for using campaign funds to fight personal lawsuits that predated his run for office.

Herschel Walker, the Republican challenging Warnock in the competitive Senate race, slammed the Democrat over his outside work, claiming he “only cares about making a better life for himself, not the people of Georgia”.

“Raphael Warnock cares more about himself than the people of Georgia. He has been trying to cash in on his job since day one”, a Walker spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Warnock is always looking for another chance to use his position to make more money and misuse campaign funds”.

Warnock’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Warnock was able to avoid ethics rules that prohibit lawmakers from earning over 15 percent of their income from outside employers through a unique financial agreement with the Ebenezer Baptist Church. His campaign said US$89,000 of his salary from Ebenezer Baptist Church was a “personal parsonage allowance” to pay for his housing, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Warnock’s home in Atlanta is worth around US$1 million, the AJC reported.

Republicans also filed a Federal Elections Commission complaint against Warnock in July, alleging that he violated the law by using his campaign funds to pay unrelated legal fees. Warnock’s campaign paid lawyers who are representing him in a lawsuit stemming from his time as pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Contents published under this byline are those created by the news team of BLiTZ

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