A major complaint was just filed with the Federal Election Commission against the Ron DeSantis campaign and the Never Back Down Super PAC which is supporting him. This promises to be one of the most significant FEC actions in recent memory since the two entities have been blatantly and publicly breaking the law since the day that DeSantis launched his doomed campaign back in May. Candidates and candidate support PACs are not allowed to coordinate their efforts. Period. Yet that’s exactly what DeSantis and Never Back Down have been doing.
Everyone who runs a political campaign or a super PAC knows that it’s illegal for the two entities to coordinate their efforts. They’ve known this since the Supreme Court handed down its epic Citizens United ruling, which allowed for the creation of super PACs and finally gave the GOP a level playing field with the labor unions.
The one restriction on super PACs, which are allowed to take campaign contributions in unlimited amounts, is that they’re not allowed to talk to the candidate’s campaign or coordinate their efforts. It’s an ingenious way to keep dirty money out of politics while finally allowing Republicans parity with the labor unions that pump billions of dollars into the Democrat Party.
A lot of super PACs have an internal rule for their employees: If anyone from the official campaign calls on the phone, hang up. The FBI or the FEC is probably listening because only an idiot would set up the possibility of impropriety between the two entities. Sorry to spend so much time hammering this point home, but it is so serious that everyone who is in the relatively small world of political consulting knows this rule. Super PACs and campaigns can’t coordinate.
The coordination between the Ron DeSantis for President campaign and the Never Back Down PAC has been painfully obvious for the past seven months. Those of us who have worked in political consulting have just been waiting for the day when a complaint like this drops. Good grief, Never Back Down has been paying the DeSantis campaign’s expenses, which is hugely illegal. When DeSantis was campaigning in Iowa, he traveled everywhere while riding on the Never Back Down bus.
Why not just put up billboards announcing, “WE’RE BREAKING THE MOST BASIC CAMPAIGN LAW IN EXISTENCE!”
The leaders of the DeSantis campaign even held fundraising events with the leaders of Never Back Down. They did this in the same venues, with members from both entities delivering speeches to the same audiences. All of which are illegal under FEC rules.
All of this was so brazen and so blatantly obvious that the FEC is likely to drop the hammer on both the campaign and Never Back Down, to make an example of them. Plus, it’s not like DeSantis and Never Back Down are a bunch of Democrats. We have to actually follow the rules on our side, otherwise the federal government will swoop in to destroy us.
We’re not the first ones to say this, but it bears repeating. The DeSantis campaign has been the worst presidential campaign that any of us have seen in our lifetimes. From the moment when the Never Back Down PAC and members of the DeSantis campaign filmed themselves lighting strippers’ butt cheeks on fire at their Christmas Party a year ago, this has been a doomed-to-fail enterprise.
The leaders of the DeSantis campaign managed to take the most popular Republican governor in the country and make him look short and weird. These people should all be driven out of Republican politics permanently.