Gingrich Non-Campaign Acting Very Campaign-Like

Newt Gingrich, who definitely is not yet running for president, is nonetheless raising millions of dollars through a 527 front group and putting together an organization of thousands just in case he decides to run, reports The Politico‘s Kenneth Vogel.

Gingrich isn’t the first candidate to run a stealth campaign; indeed, as Vogel points out, Mitt Romney did much the same thing. The situation does further illustrate the absurdity of our campaign financing laws, however:

Newt Gingrich Photo Gingrich’s group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, is a so-called 527 organization, and as such, it would be illegal for Gingrich to use the money to campaign for president.

Still, the group can pay for salaries, Gingrich’s travel, office space, fundraising, direct mail, television and radio ads and the like. In other words, it can fund the foundation for a campaign before there is one.

The distinction between a pre-campaign where one is doing all the things one does in a campaign without calling it “a campaign” is lost on me. Then again, I didn’t go to law school.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.