March 21, 2019 Update
February 21, 2019 Update
Today, Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), released the following statement in response to former KAIRC PAC Executive Director and former Rhode Island congressional candidate, H. Russell Taub, being brought up on federal charges for operating an illegal scam PAC:
“It was clear to us from day one that Mr. Taub was engaged in criminal behavior for running a fraudulent operation, as neither he or the PAC he directed could account for how it spent over $1.5 million. Our complaint to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) on this matter raised the possibility these funds were being spent on non-political activities and that is sadly what has come to light. Given the severity of this case, FACT filed multiple documents with the FEC and we are pleased Mr. Taub is being held accountable, as these types of scam PACs simply steal from citizens and hurt public trust.”
The Providence Journal article, Ex-GOP Candidate for Congress in R.I. Charged in Fraud, is available here.
July 25, 2018
FACT Calls Republican-Supporting PAC a Scam Operation, Asks for FEC Probe
FACT says KAIRC PAC Has Failed to Register with the FEC Despite Raising Over $1.5 Million, Some Possibly from Foreign Sources
The non-partisan ethics watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), today, has asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for an immediate investigation into Keeping America in Republican Control (KAIRC PAC) and its Executive Director, former Rhode Island Republican congressional candidate H. Russell Taub, for operating an illegal scam operation.
According to FACT’s complaint, KAIRC PAC has (1) failed to register as a political committee, (2) failed to publicly acknowledge through a disclaimer on its website that it is a political committee and (3) failed to distribute over $1.5 million raised to any federal candidates for federal committees.
By its own admission, KAIRC PAC raises money to influence federal elections. On July 10, 2018 the PAC sent a fundraising email in support of Florida Governor Rick Scott. In that email, the group boasts that it has “helped over 85 candidates, scheduled multiple fundraisers to help candidates in 2018, raised over $1.5 Million as of June 30, 2018 and launched 9 support Ads to help our candidates.” To date, KAIRC PAC has not registered with the FEC as a political committee despite raising funds as early as February, 2017.
FACT points to the following section of election law:
“11 CFR section 101.2(d) plainly requires political committees to file a Statement of Organization (Form 1) within 10 days of becoming a political committee. According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, ‘any committee, club, association, or other group of persons which receives contributions aggregating in excess of $1,000 or which makes expenditures aggregating in excess of $1,000 during a calendar year is a political committee.’”
Furthermore, it appears that the over $1.5 million raised by KAIRC PAC has not been distributed to any federal candidates or committees. A search of the FEC website shows zero contributions made by “any person or entity named ‘KAIRC PAC’ or ‘Keeping America in Republican Control PAC.’”
“There is no doubt KAIRC PAC and its Executive Director are engaged in some very nefarious and potentially criminal behavior,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). “How an organization can claim to raise over $1.5 million and spend it with no public accounting or paper trail of any kind leads to just two conclusions. Either KAIRC PAC didn’t actually raise the money it claims it raised or it is being spent on non-political activities. Either way, an investigation is needed immediately.”
Finally, on the KAIRC PAC website, Mr. Taub touts himself as an “Ambassador” to the International Human Rights Commission, a Ukrainian organization founded in 2014. Given the Taub’s clear ties to Ukraine, FACT is asking the FEC if any of the supposed funds raised came from foreign nationals. That would also be a clear and blatant election law violation.
“The public should be able to contribute to candidates and causes they believe in with assurances that their hard-earned money is actually going to those efforts. Any attempt to mislead contributors is not only stealing but undermines the electoral process,” Arnold added.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/.