Fund Raising

Democratic Rep. Sinema accused of trying to fundraise off VA scandal

Arizona Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is being accused of being “so desperate” to win reelection that she is trying to fundraise off recent allegations about the Department of Veterans Affairs neglecting patients.

However, the company in charge of her digital program later took responsibility for the "donate" link in an email she recently sent to “friends” in which she asked them to sign a petition in support of a full investigation into the allegations. She then closed the request with a hyperlink respondents could click to make a campaign contribution.

Late Tuesday, Anne Lewis, CEO of the company that runs Sinema's digital program, issued a statement taking responsibility for the link. "Due to a mistake on our part, an email sent earlier today inadvertently used the wrong template and redirected users to the wrong landing page," Lewis said. "We sincerely apologize to Rep. Sinema – and anyone who received the message – for our error."

Sinema, a first-term congresswoman, sent the email following allegations that surfaced in early April about as many as 40 patients at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care Center perhaps dying because of delays in care and the hospital possibly keeping a secret list of patients waiting for appointments to hide the treatment delays.

“It’s troubling that Congresswoman Sinema is fundraising off this shameful scandal," Matt Gorman, a National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman, said in a committee email Tuesday. “This is beneath the dignity of her office and she owes the veterans in her district an apology.”

The committee also told reporters in the same email: “It appears … Sinema is so desperate to win reelection, she’s willing to fundraise off a recent VA scandal.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.