NH and AL Democratic Parties File New Evidence with Federal Election Commission and State Authorities of Romney's End Run Around Campaign Finance Law, Call on Romney to Provide Detailed Accounting of State PAC Expenditures
Romney Has Failed to Sever Associations with State PACs in Accordance with FEC Guidelines
Concord, NH - Today, the New Hampshire and Alabama Democratic Parties filed a joint amended Federal Election Commission complaint following a complaint filed in April, producing new evidence that Mitt Romney's campaign may be circumventing campaign finance laws by using its state Political Action Committees (PACs), including its Alabama State PAC, to raise unlimited funds in excess of federal limits and then using those funds to aid his presidential campaign.
The complaint also details how Romney's campaign has failed to sever its association with its state PACs in accordance with FEC guidelines, which require the candidate to demonstrate to the FEC that it has had no involvement with the PACs for two years.
"We call on all the relevant state and federal election committees to take a close look at potential wrongdoing by Mitt Romney and his campaign organization,” said Judge Mark Kennedy, chair of the Alabama Democratic Party. "It is important that candidates follow the law and it appears that Romney's campaign may be using funds collected here in Alabama to aid his presidential campaign. Furthermore, it’s a disgrace that Alabama Lieutenant Governor Ivey would involve herself in a campaign that uses relaxed Alabama law to potentially violate federal campaign law."
The amended complaint, which has also been sent to state authorities and seeks a full inquiry into the violations of both Federal and state laws, raises two major areas of concern:
• Romney's campaign may have violated federal and state laws in Alabama, New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Michigan by raising "soft money" contributions into State PACs and using the money to support his presidential candidacy.
• If the State PACs raised or spent soft money after Mr. Romney became a declared candidate, Mr. Romney committed an additional violation of federal law. Federal law prohibits entities "established" by federal candidates from raising or spending any "soft money."
Romney clearly established these PACs and, thus, they are subject to this law. To sever ties with the PACs and escape liability for their raising and spending of "soft money," the candidate must have no material contact or involvement with the PAC for fully two years. Of course, Romney can not satisfy this two year standard. Nor has he even suggested that he could.
Especially troubling to early state primary voters, the Romney campaign may not be required to disclose his Alabama state PAC spending until January 31, 2012. By January 31, 2008 the GOP presidential contest was nearly settled.
"It is important that voters know that their candidates are playing by the rules," said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Romney should voluntarily disclose exactly how the money raised in Alabama is being spent."