Carly Fiorina is going to be in a world of hurt for this one. Hillary Clinton’s email “scandal” or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t even come close to what Carly Fiorina and her super PAC have been doing.
The International Business Times reported on Friday that they have email evidence proving that Carly for America (Fiorina’s super PAC), has been unlawfully coordinating with campaign stops where Carly has been speaking. As everyone knows, it is a direct violation of FEC laws for super PACS to coordinate with campaigns for any reason. Yet, that doesn’t appear to have prevented Carly or her super PAC from trying to work around that law.
Up until this point, candidates have tried various measures to exploit loopholes in the law, the most popular one being waiting to announce their presidential runs formally in order to finance their campaigns early on. Carly has done this and taken it to the extreme. Her super PAC now handles all the functions at her campaign stops that a campaign normally would. It’s practically unheard of. This by itself isn’t a violation, though. The New York Times even said Carly’s campaign’s strategy of posting her schedule online to alert her super PAC of where she’ll be giving speeches so that her super PAC can show up and set up shop, has been a brilliant a run around of the law. That way, they can claim they haven’t “coordinated.” They can just show up and claim to be independent.
New email evidence shows this not to be true. In fact, if anything, Carly’s super PAC has even helped organize the events. The International Business Times reviewed a handful of emails between employees at Winthrop University in South Carolina (where Carly had a September event), staff for the Fiorina campaign, and Carly for America. They found that when an employee had trouble getting in touch with Fiorina about correcting details on an Eventbrite website for the event, that employee then decided to reach out directly to Taylor Manson, a super PAC employee, who coincidentally, was also listed as a person of contact on the Eventbrite page. The lines of campaign coordinating are being blurred more and more.
“I have a few questions about the location. What is the address of the building? Where should people park? Is there handicap parking available? Do y’all plan on putting something out to your students to let them know she’ll be there?”
It didn’t take long for Manson to receive an advance walkthrough of the event location. While some might claim that it was the university that acted inappropriately, Larry Noble, a former FEC counsel who works for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, says this is evidence that proves that the law has been broken. It’s known as an “in-kind contribution,” and super PACs are prohibited from doing so.
“This fits the larger narrative that the super PAC is basically running the campaign’s events. The whole thing frankly makes a mockery of the law.”
When the super PAC gets there, they hand out flyers, collect voter information, everything campaigns are known for. And – wealthy donors can finance all of it since they can make unlimited contributions to a super PAC but only a few thousand dollars directly to a candidate.
That’s not the only instance though that will plague Carly’s campaign going forward. An event at George Tech last month also appears to be entirely organized by her super PAC, as well, according to emails provided to IBT by the University.
Reps for Carly for America have repeatedly stated in the past that the group hasn’t coordinated with Fiorina’s campaign, but this new information shows otherwise. At the very least, a formal investigation needs to be launched to verify these new allegations. It should be interesting to watch how the Republican party responds to an email scandal that affects their own party, especially when campaign finance laws are being broken. Double standard, perhaps?
Featured image via Facebook.