Federal Election Commission called on to investigate Scott Walker

The Wisconsin Gazette

The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and is alleging a possible campaign violation by Scott Walker.

The Wisconsin governor recently established Our American Revival, a political group organized under section of the 527 Internal Revenue Code. Our American Revival’s treasurer is Andrew Hitt.

ADLF, in the complaint filed by Brad Woodhouse, says Walker, OAR and Hitt may have violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. “The facts indicate that Gov. Walker is testing the waters for a campaign for president of the United States, using OAR as his exploratory committee, and in doing so is raising and spending funds that are beyond the contribution limits and source restrictions of the FEC Act,” said ADLF in announcing the complaint.

The ADLF says it is a group that “holds candidates for office accountable for possible ethics and/or legal violations.” The group was established by David Brock and is run by Woodhouse.

The complaint released on Feb. 10 says that while Walker has announced the creation of OAR and is operating it as his exploratory committee for his run for president, OAR is not registered with the Federal Election Commission.

The complaint notes the hiring of political advisors and consultants, including former RNC political director Rick Wiley, former RNC field director Matt Mason, as well as David Polyansky, who ran Iowa political campaigns for Mike Huckabee, among others.

The complaint further states that Walker is raising money around the country for OAR, funds that appear to be tied to his candidacy and that donor Stanley Hubbard sent OAR a $25,000 check, along with a promise to do more.

“The purpose of the current fundraising is to ‘to raise enough money to finance Walker’s travel and pay for a staff.’  Both of these functions support Gov. Walker’s testing the waters for a presidential campaign. OAR’s staff is comprised almost entirely of political operatives and consultants, and in addition to traveling for fundraising, Gov. Walker has announced his plans to travel to “important primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, and Florida in the coming weeks and months,” the complaint states.

However, the ADLF says FEC regulations provide that “only funds permissible” under the 1971 act may be used for testing the water, and the act limits individual contributions per election for 2015-16 to $2,700 and a multi-candidate PAC’s contributions to $5,000 per year. Also, according to the ADLF complaint, candidates may not knowingly receive excessive contributions and corporations are prohibited from making contributions under the act.

“By admitting he is ‘very interested’ in running, appearing at multiple events showcasing potential presidential candidates, and making repeated visits to early primary states, Gov. Walker has made clear he is testing the waters for a presidential race,” the complaint states. “OAR’s activities to date indicate it is operating as Gov. Walker’s exploratory committee.  Gov. Walker has made plain he is using OAR to decide whether the run for president, and he is raising funds for OAR that are being used to pay for his travel and his staff of political advisors.  As a result, any contributions he or OAR uses testing the waters may not exceed the Act’s limits or come from a corporation.”