Complaint Filed In Cain Campaign Finance Matter
Lost in this week’s media obsession over decade-old sexual harassment allegations has been the story which I wrote about earlier this week regarding possibly illegal in-kind donations to the Cain campaign by a non-profit corporation controlled by Mark Block, Cain’s Chief of Staff. The Cain campaign responded by staying they would launch an internal investigation, which was a patently absurd response. Today, though, a watchdog group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission:
WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – A consumer group asked U.S. regulators on Friday to probe allegations that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain got illegal campaign cash from an influential conservative group backed by the wealthy brothers who run Koch Industries.
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics consumer group in Washington said it filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission seeking a probe of a report alleging that tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions were made to Cain’s campaign earlier this year by outside political groups.
Officials for the Cain campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Corporations, including those that are not-for-profit, are not allowed to donate to presidential candidates. Only individuals and political action committees can give, and such contributions are limited.
The illegal contributions complaint follows a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week citing records of Wisconsin-based Prosperity USA and another political group that show they funded travel for Cain as he traveled in Iowa, the purchase of Ipads, and other expenses.
The documents show that Prosperity USA, a unit of the national Tea Party aligned group Americans for Prosperity, was owed about $40,000 by the Cain campaign. Such a payment would be illegal whether it was a donation or a loan to be paid back, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics said.
Cain campaign chief of staff Mark Block previously led Prosperity USA, and was affiliated with the second group.
It’s likely going to take some time for this to be resolved, but at first glance it doesn’t look good.