Ethics Watchdog Calls for Further Investigation of Senator Gary Peters
New Evidence from FACT Shows Democratic Congressman Coordinated Illegal Ads with Additional Outside Organization
Washington, D.C.—December 19, 2019— The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), today, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Majority Forward (a 501 (c)(4) organization), Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), and his re-election campaign committee, Peters for Michigan, for violating the Federal Election Campaign Act.
This request for investigation comes two weeks after FACT filed a similar complaint against Peters for illegally coordinating with 501(c)(4) group VoteVets.Org Action Fund.
Both complaints maintain that Peters has been using his campaign website to illegally coordinate with outside organizations that support his candidacy. On a designated and unusual subpage of his website, Peters posted detailed content for ads, including messaging, photos, and b-roll videos, along with instructions for the markets in which to run the ads. The information was conveyed in a format designed to directly coordinate with outside organizations with which he is not permitted to coordinate.
Peters shared information focused on the military, with specific messages highlighted in a research document along with photos and b-roll footage referencing his own time in the military and commitment to veterans. Peters also emphasizes the target media market for the information, stating this is information “Michiganders from all parts of the state need to know.”
Much like VoteVets.Org Action Fund, Majority Forward then republished Peters’ campaign materials in the form of advertisements. The 501(c)(4) organization has spent $10,000 to $15,000 to run these ads, which are currently being distributed. This type of behavior is contrary to federal laws that prohibit candidates from coordinating with outside groups and conversely prohibit outside groups from financing the dissemination, distribution, or republication of candidates’ campaign materials.
“FACT sincerely hopes that the Federal Election Commission will take action soon to review the unlawful campaign behavior of Senator Peters and outside organizations supporting him,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT. “After repeat offenses, it is especially crucial that the Commission immediately investigate and enforce the law to stop these ongoing violations that compromise the integrity of the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Michigan,” added Arnold.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
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