No ethics inquiry in lawmaker's fast-food protest

AP News
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Posted: Sep 11, 2014 3:28 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Wisconsin congresswoman arrested during a protest of wages paid to workers at McDonald's and other fast-food chains will not face an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Conaway of Texas and Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, the panel's senior Democrat, said Thursday that no further review of the case involving Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore was needed.

Moore was arrested last week for blocking traffic outside a McDonald's in West Milwaukee. She was charged with disorderly conduct and ordered to pay a $691 fine.

Moore was among dozens of protesters who blocked traffic in cities across the country Sept. 4 as part of the "Fight for $15" campaign by the Service Employees International Union and other groups. The effort is intended to get McDonald's, Burger King and other fast-food companies to pay employees at least $15 an hour.

Moore, who is in her fifth term representing the Milwaukee area, said in a statement that she took great pride in supporting Milwaukee workers as they risked arrest "in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow for their families."

Moore said she understands the workers' struggle, "but more importantly, I see their drive to fight for a future that is equal to their talents and worthy of their dreams."

She criticized Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who has opposed efforts to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Walker, a possible presidential candidate in 2016, also championed a 2011 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

Walker's push for that law shortly after he took office led to massive protests and a recall election that Walker won in 2012.