Jeb Bush's reliance on a super PAC, fueled by close to $100 million, to assume the duties of a traditional campaign organization in his yet-unannounced Republican presidential run has been challenged on ethical and legal grounds, The Christian Science Monitor
Contributors to official campaigns are limited to $2,700 per person in primary contests and $2,700 per person for the general election. Super PACs can raise cash from donors without any limits, but are not supposed to coordinate with a candidate.
Bush, a former governor of Florida, appears to be designing his super PAC, called Right to Rise, to work on "autopilot" after he declares his candidacy, according to the Monitor. It would handle television advertising, direct mail, and a range of other duties typically done by campaign organizations.
Those duties would transform the super PAC into the true center of his presidential campaign, according to a New York Times editorial
"There were super PACs in 2012, but this is the first presidential election where people have openly talked about farming out elements of their campaigns to outside groups," Viveca Novak of the Center for Responsive Politics told the Monitor.
The Campaign Legal Center
recently filed a petition
with the Federal Election Commission against Bush, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for possibly violating federal campaign finance laws.
The Federal Election Commission is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and unlikely to challenge the practice, according to the Monitor.
"Publicly denying that they are candidates does not exempt these presidential hopefuls from federal election laws passed by Congress to keep the White House off the auction block," said Campaign Legal Center counsel Paul Ryan.
The law forbids a candidate from controlling super PACs through proxies while continuing to raise unlimited cash, according to Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21.
In the 2010 Supreme Court case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the justices ruled that campaign spending by organizations could not be limited without violating the free speech clause of the Constitution.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.