Thursday, February 29, 2024
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DNC accuses RFK Jr. campaign and super PAC of colluding on ballot access effort


The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that it was filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against President Robert F. Kennedy Jr. independent presidential campaign and the super PAC is backing him on allegations that the two colluded to gain access to Kennedy’s ballot.

On December 5, the super PAC American Values ​​2024 announced that it would invest between $10 and $15 million in ballot access, with the goal of getting Kennedy on the ballot in at least 10 States.

In the FEC complaint, the DNC claims that in states in which American Values ​​2024 has announced a ballot access initiative, each “requires the candidate to submit a draft signature petition to the approval from the State, that it submits the completed forms, that it identifies the individuals who collected the signatures and obtains the certification of the communicators.

The DNC’s complaint alleges that the super PAC coordinates “its activity with Mr. Kennedy and his campaign in a manner that violates federal campaign finance laws.”

“Our complaint calls on the FEC to open an investigation and remedy the violations found,” DNC legal counsel Robert Lenhard said at a press briefing Friday.

In previous conversations with CBS News, the super PAC and the Kennedy campaign said they had legal experts guiding them through the process, and that both were separately seeking ballot access.

“Rather than doing the work itself using money raised within candidate contribution limits, the campaign is cutting corners,” Lenhard said.

In a statement sent to CBS News, Kennedy campaign manager and daughter-in-law Amaryllis Fox Kennedy said, “This is a non-issue raised by a partisan political entity that appears increasingly concerned by its own candidate and its viability. »

DNC senior adviser Liz Smith, who was also present at Friday’s press conference, said the DNC believes that “Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign and the primary super PAC supporting his campaign are illegally coordinating, in violation of federal election law.

“What we are seeing is the outsized illegal influence of individual mega-donors like billionaire Tim Mellon, Donald Trump’s largest donor this cycle, who gave American Values ​​the exact salary of $15 million that they said they needed to get into the election,” Smith said.

During the call, reporters asked if the Democratic Party was concerned that Kennedy would take away votes in swing states as President Biden’s age could become a bigger campaign problem. DNC senior adviser Ramsey Reid responded that the party was “concerned that Donald Trump and his mega-donors are supporting RFK Jr.”

The latest American Values ​​2024 FEC report shows that Mellon, who previously supported former President Donald Trump, was a top donor to the PAC. Mellon made three different transactions with the super PAC from July 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023, totaling $10 million. According to the FEC report filed in the first half, Mellon had also donated an additional $5 million.

Fox Kennedy said in the statement that to its knowledge, “we have not yet received any signatures from American Values ​​PAC or any PAC; nor have we provided any information that does not are not available to all volunteers and media on our public website.

“I am aware that they have their own signature collection tracking system on their public website, but we take our FEC obligation seriously and are not allowed to tell PACs what they should and should not do with their money,” Fox Kennedy added.

American Values ​​2024 Co-Founder Tony Lyons, said in a statement to CBS News that “this FEC complaint is just another desperate tactic by the DNC to defame Kennedy, slander him, and drain his campaign funds.”



Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from www.cbsnews.com

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