Evidence Shows DePasquale Illegally Used His State Campaign Funds to Launch A Bid for Federal Office
Washington, D.C.— August 7, 2020— The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), today, filed a complaint calling for an immediate investigation into Eugene DePasquale, Pennsylvania’s current Auditor General, and his campaign committee for illegally using state campaign funds for his federal congressional race.
According to FACT, on March 26, 2019, reporting demonstrates that DePasquale was “strongly considering” running for federal congressional office. Around this time, DePasquale shutdown his state campaign website indicating he was not running for any state office, yet he continued using both his state campaign social media and campaign finance accounts for campaign activity. In April and May 2019, DePasquale spent nearly $24,000 to run ads on his state campaign Facebook account, targeting key portions of Pennsylvania’s 10th district. Along with these ads, DePasquale also made expenditures from his state campaign account in the amount of $113,050. All this spending was done just before he formally launched his federal campaign.
The filing states, “[t]he facts surrounding DePasquale’s use of his non-federal account clearly demonstrate he made expenditures for his federal campaign with non-federal funds. Even though he wasn’t running for state office, DePasquale used his state account to hire and pay several political campaign vendors for services including a campaign video, website, research and social media ads. Directly after that DePasquale did in fact launch a federal congressional campaign that apparently used or benefited from those services.”
“Federal law clearly prohibits candidates from using state campaign funds for a federal campaign. It does not matter whether he had announced his candidacy at the time or was 'testing the waters'--it simply is not allowed. It appears he took previously raised funds from his state account to hire and pay a team of political vendors to launch his congressional bid. Not only does this merit immediate investigation, this is a serious offense and if a violation is found by the FEC appropriate penalties need to be administered," said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: www.factdc.org.