It used to be that Aaron Schock, a Republican congressman from Illinois, was in the news far more his impressive physique than any legislation he championed.
But in recent weeks, the former Men’s Health cover man has been embroiled in a string of controversy involving his spending on such things as private jets and interior decorating.
The latest headache involves an official trip to India last summer accompanied by a photographer and videographer named Jonathon Link (pictured below) whose travel expenses were covered by The Global Poverty Project.
Schock reportedly did not disclose this and as a result may have violated the rules of the US House of Reprsentatives. according to a review of public records by National Journal.
During the trip, Schock met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Global Poverty Project is an advocacy organization that seeks to alleviate extreme poverty internationally. They had offered to pay the $4,000 tab for one staffer to accompany the congressman and were looking for a photographer.
House Rules only allow for private money to cover a staffer, wife or child. Link was not on Schock’s payroll until last September, a month after the India trip.
Schock, who has toed the party line and consistently voted against pro-LGBT legislation, has long been dogged by rumors that he is a closeted gay man.
In January 2014, journalist Itay Hod went public with a story that a journalist friend of his in Washington DC had come home one day and caught his roommate, who is gay, coming out of the shower with Schock.
Hod quoted the friend as saying: ‘Trust me, I know what Aaron Schock looks like, I’ve done stories on him. … There was no question in my mind that this was Aaron Schock.’
Schock’s office in Washington DC did not respond to Gay Star News when contacted via email and by telephone for comment on Hod’s story which quickly went viral when he posted it on Facebook.
Hod said at the time that he went public because of Schock’s anti-gay voting record.
‘He was against the repeal of DOMA, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he was against the inclusion of gays and transgenders to the hate crimes bill which, to me, is the worst thing you can do. Even if you’re not gay I think that’s something you should be in favor of. He’s also against gay marriage.’