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May 6, 2024

Campaign Finance Roundup: May 6, 2024

Campaign Finance Roundup: May 6, 2024

May 6, 2024
Published By Connor Flotten
Another installment in our series of stories about how our elections are being bought out from under us and all that matters is fundraising and the donor class.

Watchdog Group Accuses Trump Campaign of Violating Finance Law

From The New York Times:
The Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint with the FEC, alleging that the Trump campaign disguised $7.2 million in legal fees by paying them through a shell company, which they claim is in violation of federal law. The complaint notes that the payments went to the company Red Curve, which is run by Bradley Crate, treasurer for the Trump campaign and 200 other campaigns and committees (busy guy!), and does not appear to offer legal services. I don’t know, though. Maybe Brad just wanted to branch out from treasurer-ing and try his hand at law, and just needed a small loan of $7.2 million to get started. 

George Santos ends comeback bid for Congress after raising no money

From the Associated Press:
Don’t call it a comeback, because he’s, uh, not coming back. Everyone’s favorite former Congressman, George Santos, has once again demonstrated his commitment to campaign finance reform by raising exactly 0 dollars for his campaign to return to Congress. Santos has announced that he is ending said campaign bid, probably because of the whole “raising $0.00” thing. Don’t despair, though! In his post on Twitter (I’m not calling it “X”), he assured everyone that he’ll be back again for reals someday. 

Top fundraisers vie to succeed McConnell as Senate GOP Leader

From OpenSecrets:
As everyone knows, the most important quality in a leader isn’t things like “charisma” or “leadership skills,” it’s how good they are at working major campaign donors. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he’s stepping down from Senate leadership, and his replacement is going to have big sacks of money shoes to fill: McConnell has raised more than $1 billion for Republicans since 2015. I think they should make a fun game out of it: everyone who wants to be leader has to take out as much cash as possible, and whoever makes the biggest pile wins. Nice and simple, and way more honest about what’s going on. 

New ‘dark money’ group spent big on Phil Lyman’s campaign for Utah governor

From The Salt Lake Tribune:
Republican Phil Lyman’s campaign for Utah governor has seen a large amount of fundraising, including a $300,000 donation from a shell company, disguising the original source of the funds. The company, Government Leadership Solutions, was registered with the state of Utah in January, and has donated $300,000 to Lyman’s campaign since. In a stunning coincidence, the company shares an address with Lyman Family Farm, owned by Lyman’s family, and the only listed officer of GLS is the Vice President of Lyman Family Farm. When asked about GLS, Lyman implied that the purpose of it was to provide anonymity to donors, saying most people “try to have a little anonymity.” Normally I’d say he gets points for honesty, but I don’t know that being honest about being dishonest really counts. 

Ohio’s Senate race ranks among top most expensive contests of 2024

From OpenSecrets:
We’re 4 months into 2024 and the Ohio Senate race is already seeing an absolutely staggering amount of fundraising and campaign spending. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown has already raised more than $39 million in Q1, more than 3 times his Republican challenger, Bernie Moreno. Brown has also benefited from a LOT of outside spending: more than $9 million has been spent on ads opposing Moreno. Incredibly, this race is only the third most expensive in terms of candidate fundraising, behind the Texas and California Senate races. All that to say: buckle up everyone, I hope you like ads. 

The FEC Drops New Rules Affecting Super PACs

From The Dispatch:
The FEC, the organization tasked with regulating campaigns and committees like Super PACs, has apparently decided that doing all that is a lot of work and they’d really rather not. As a result, they’re ditching a rule that prevents campaigns from coordinating with outside groups on door-to-door voter turnout. Previously, PACs and campaigns were totally prohibited from communicating with each other, but now they’re allowed to talk as long as they pinky promise it’s only about crucially important voter turnout efforts. 

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Another installment in our series of stories about how our elections are being bought out from under us and all that matters is fundraising and the donor class.
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