Rep. Schock’s $25K Solicitation from Majority Leader Cantor Violated the Law: FEC Complaint Filed

CLC Staff
Apr 30, 2012
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Today, the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) for his illegal solicitation of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to make a contribution of $25,000 to the super PAC Campaign For Primary Accountability.  Press reports quote both Rep. Shock and a spokesman for Leader Cantor freely admitting that the solicitation was made for an amount five times the legal limit.

The FEC made clear in an advisory opinion last year (AO 2011-12) that a federal officeholder “may only solicit contributions of up to $5000 from individuals . . . and Federal political action committees” for a super PAC such as Campaign For Primary Accountability.  But an article published in Roll Call makes very clear that Rep. Schock asked Majority Leader Cantor to make a $25,000 contribution to the super PAC.

“Rep. Schock and Leader Cantor’s campaign spokesman Ray Allen told Roll Callin no uncertain terms that a solicitation was made for $25,000, which amounts to a public confession to a clear violation of the law,” said Paul S. Ryan, Campaign Legal Center Senior Counsel.  “The FEC must pursue this violation by Rep. Schock or the agency would in effect be green-lighting candidates soliciting multi-million dollar contributions to the ostensibly ‘independent’ Super PACs that have been doing the dirty work of presidential candidates in the primaries – an activity expressly banned by the agency.”

“The FEC last year correctly recognized that Members of Congress are not free to solicit large contributions to super PACs,” said Donald Simon, counsel to Democracy 21.  “It must now enforce the law against what appears to be a clear violation of it by Rep. Schock.  As bad as the super PAC problem is, it would be worse if the FEC allows Members of Congress to get into the business of soliciting huge contributions for super PACs, in violation of the law.”

The complaint asked the FEC to conduct an immediate investigation of the matter and impose appropriate sanctions.

To read the complaint, click here.

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