Jared Polis, the Colorado representative to the US Congress, found himself in hot water after participating in a video promoting League of Legends. The House Ethics Committee began investigating Polis for “substantial reason to believe” that he violated federal law and House rules.
US politicians are not allowed to endorse or publicly promote any products, services, or businesses; and Polis’ speaking about his love of League of Legends looking like he was promoting the MOBA. The Coloradan representative thought otherwise, and argued that he was using the platform to reach out to his constituents and engage his audience.
Polis himself is an avid LoL player, and actively participates in the Riot Games forum under his own name. He also used the LoL community to rally against the controversial SOPA and PIPA acts that would have threatened the fair use of intellectual property.
The Office of Congressional Ethics believed that his participation in the video was a misuse of taxpayer resources. Aside from potentially promoting a for-profit business, scenes showing Polis in his office were construed to be using work hours for personal gain. In other words, they didn’t like the idea that he was talking about video games during office hours.
Fortunately for Polis, the four month investigation found that he had not broken any rules; and his participation in the video is no different from a politician tweeting about his favourite sport. Naturally, Polis was relieved at the ruling; as he was just trying to be a person who the voters can relate to.
[Source: Washington Post]