“For at least seven years, GOP Rep. Jim Hagedorn appears to have enjoyed rent-free use of a campaign office supplied by a political donor — which would be a clear violation of federal election law that comes amid mounting scrutiny of his finances,” Politico reports.
“The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission Tuesday accusing the Trump campaign of ‘laundering’ $170 million through numerous companies, some with connections to former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale,” Forbes reports.
“The complaint alleges that the Trump campaign paid millions of dollars to campaign-connected vendors without reporting those payments to the FEC, specifically honing in on American Made Media Consultants, a firm created by Parscale, which has been paid over $106 million, making it the campaigns largest vendor.”
“Democratic donors gave more money online in the 9 p.m. hour Friday after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death was announced — $6.2 million — than in any other single hour since ActBlue, the donation-processing site, was started 16 years ago,” the New York Times reports.
“Then donors broke the site’s record again in the 10 p.m. hour when donors gave another $6.3 million — more than $100,000 per minute.”
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) has used campaign funds for hundreds of trips to restaurants — and occasionally to stay at lavish hotels — according to a Politico analysis of the Ohio Republican’s campaign-finance filings over the past 3½ years.
“The individual receipts are fairly modest in most cases — typically ranging from $12 to a few hundred dollars. But together, ethics watchdogs say, they suggest a consistent pattern: Turner uses his donors to subsidize his personal dining costs, expensing an average of two meals a week.”
“House Democrats are launching an investigation of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and called for his immediate suspension following accusations that he reimbursed employees for campaign contributions they made to his preferred GOP politicians, an arrangement that would be unlawful,” the Washington Post reports.
“Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement late Monday that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which she chairs, would begin an investigation, saying that DeJoy may have lied to her committee under oath. Maloney also urged the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service to immediately suspend DeJoy, whom ‘they never should have hired in the first place,’ she said. A spokesman for the Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”
“Louis DeJoy’s prolific campaign fundraising, which helped position him as a top Republican power broker in North Carolina and ultimately as head of the U.S. Postal Service, was bolstered for more than a decade by a practice that left many employees feeling pressured to make political contributions to GOP candidates — money DeJoy later reimbursed through bonuses, former employees say,” the Washington Post reports.
“President Trump was proudly litigious before his victory in 2016 and has remained so in the White House. But one big factor has changed: He has drawn on campaign donations as a piggy bank for his legal expenses to a degree far greater than any of his predecessors,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Trump’s tendency to turn to the courts — and the legal issues that have stemmed from norm-breaking characteristics of his presidency — helps explain how he and his affiliated political entities have spent at least $58.4 million in donations on legal and compliance work since 2015.”
“Federal prosecutors are preparing to charge longtime GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy in connection with efforts to influence the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests, a result of a sprawling, years-long investigation that involved a figure who helped raise millions for Donald Trump’s election and the Republican Party,” the Washington Post reports.
In newly-filed paperwork, USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan is listed as Director of the Senate Leadership Fund, a $130 million super PAC backing Sen. Mitch McConnell’s priorities.
“Kanye West’s presidential campaign continues to push to get him on the ballot in states across the country. But it’s now a full week late with its campaign finance filings, a move that’s allowing the shadowy organization to hide how deep the GOP efforts to back his spoiler campaign go,” Vice News reports.
“The monthly campaign finance filing was due with the Federal Election Commission on August 20. But West’s campaign still hasn’t submitted the paperwork, a requirement for all presidential candidates that planned to raise or spend at least $100,000 on the campaign.”
Daily Beast: “Political donations by non-disclosing groups… have skyrocketed in recent years. During the 2018 election cycle, such groups provided roughly $178 million to federal political committees… In 2020, they’re on track to far surpass that total. By the end of June, non-disclosing groups had donated $177 million to federal political committees.”
“The result, experts say, has been an erosion of fundamental rules governing American elections and the growing amounts of money spent to affect their outcomes… The phenomenon is not confined to one political side or the other.”
“President Trump’s re-election effort is alleged to have paid more than $170 million to companies affiliated with former campaign manager Brad Parscale without disclosing the ultimate recipients of the money,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Donald Trump has not given a dime to his reelection campaign, opting instead to fund the entire effort with his donors’ money. His business, meanwhile, has continued to charge the campaign for things like food, lodging and rent. The result is that $2.2 million of contributions from other people has turned into $2.2 million of revenue for Trump,” Forbes reports.
“And that’s just counting the money flowing directly through the president’s campaign. His reelection apparatus also includes two joint fundraising committees, which work with the Republican party to raise money for Trump. Since he took office, those entities—named Trump Victory and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee—have funneled another $2.3 million into the president’s private business.”
“Then there’s the Republican National Committee, which has spent an additional $2.4 million at Trump properties. Add it all up, and the president, working in concert with the party he leads, has helped push $6.9 million into his businesses since taking office.”
President Trump’s campaign, the Republican Party and two affiliated committees have spent more than $983 million since 2017, a record-breaking sum toward a reelection effort at this point in the presidential campaign, the Washington Post reports.
“A new super PAC made a splashy entrance onto the Senate battleground scene last week, reporting millions in spending backing Democrats in key races. There’s just one problem: The ads don’t exist,” Politico reports.
“The group, Americans for Progressive Action USA, filed campaign finance reports showing more than $2.5 million in advertising and associated costs across a half-dozen Senate races last week. But six ad makers and advertising platforms listed in the filings said they’ve never heard of the super PAC and have no records of doing business with it.”
“Steve Bannon used a private jet apparently owned by a wealthy Chinese businessman to fly to events to promote Republican congressional candidates in 2018,” ProPublica reports.
“The previously unreported flights could run afoul of a campaign finance law that bars foreign money from U.S. elections.”
Center for Public Integrity: “Senate Republicans want Trump to name a full slate of FEC commissioners to fill three vacancies and replace the remaining three commissioners who have collectively served more than 30 years past the expiration of their six-year terms.”
“But Trump has refused… Bottom line? It’s not inconceivable that Election 2020, with its billions of dollars political actors will spend, will simply be staged without the FEC playing any meaningful law enforcement role.”