Candidates who mock the law

by - April 02, 2015

The Federal Election Commission has established rules for those in this phase, but the four are simply skirting the rules by saying they are not really testing the waters. Those named in the complaints are former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R), former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley (D), former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).
All deny doing anything wrong: Mr. Bush’s spokeswoman told us, “We are acting appropriately and within the law.” But this behavior seems too clever by half. The candidates are out campaigning, raising money, hiring staff, giving speeches — and saying that they are not testing the waters. Aside from the legal issues, it is troubling to see would-be presidents playing fast and loose with the rules. The candidates may be gambling that the gridlocked FEC will never be able to surmount partisanship and launch an enforcement action, but that hardly reflects the kind of integrity one would desire in a president.
In this era of “dark money” in American politics, Mr. Bush has taken another step that causes deep concern. As The Post’s Ed O’Keefe and Matea Gold reported Wednesday, a friend and former staffer has set up a nonprofit “social welfare” organization, tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code, that will reportedly develop policy options that are “consistent” with those held by Mr. Bush. The group is called Right to Rise Policy Solutions, and under existing rules it will not have to disclose the identity of its donors nor will contributions be limited. The Internal Revenue Service has been reviewing the use of these groups, known as 501(c)(4)s, in politics for some time. But Mr. Bush seems to have no compunction about making use of one. He and his allies have created two other political action committees, also called Right to Rise, one of which is a supposedly independent super PAC with donors disclosed but no limits on contributions.

Candidates who mock the law - The Washington Post

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