Ethics Watchdog Urges FEC to Thwart Continuous Illegal Actions of VoteVets
FACT Maintains that VoteVets’ 501(c)(4) and Super Pac Have Continued to Illegally Coordinate with U.S. Senate Candidates, Including Cunningham (NC) and Hegar (TX)
Washington, D.C.—March 4, 2020— The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), yesterday filed a third complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against VoteVets.Org Action Fund (a 501 (c)(4) political action committee), Cal Cunningham (U.S. Senate candidate), and his campaign committee, Cal for NC, for violating the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Much like the two prior complaints FACT filed in January and February, FACT maintains in this complaint that Cal Cunningham and his campaign appear to be illegally coordinating with VoteVets.Org, an outside organization that supports his candidacy, thus resulting in an in-kind contribution in excess of the legal limits.
The new filing identifies a third and fourth advertisement run by VoteVets.Org very shortly after Cunningham uploaded new video footage to his YouTube channel and the Communications Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) used Twitter to request more advertisements be run for Cunningham.
Moreover, FACT has found that VoteVets appears to be mimicking this unlawful behavior to run advertisements on behalf of MJ Hegar, U.S. Senate candidate from Texas. FACT filed another complaint yesterday against Hegar, her campaign committee MJ for Texas, and VoteVets (a super PAC) for violating the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Evidence identified by FACT shows that on January 27, 2020, MJ for Texas posted b-roll video on its YouTube channel. Just a week later, VoteVets blatantly used the campaign’s video to create and run a television advertisement, reportedly spending $3.3 million on airtime in Texas.
“Multiple times in recent months, VoteVets.Org Action Fund and the VoteVets super PAC have repeatedly created and paid for political advertisements that appear to take direction for content and placement from the candidates they support, and they are blatantly republishing campaign materials to do so,” stated Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT. “To preserve the integrity of campaign finance law, the Commission should investigate immediately and take action— it’s not only the right thing to do in this particular case, but it will dissuade other campaigns from coordinating in this manner,” added Arnold.
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