The Advocate: Washington Watch: Campaign Legal Center ‘Very Well May File a Complaint Against’ Bobby Jindal for Rules Violation Related to Presidential Contenders, Finances


Early last week, the non-partisan, nonprofit Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission asserting violations of the rules governing presidential contenders by Republicans Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rick Santorum and Democrat Martin O’Malley. ...

 Notwithstanding their reticence, the CLC says the four men are, in actuality, in the hunt.

 “These 2016 presidential contenders must take the American people for fools — flying repeatedly to Iowa and New Hampshire to meet with party leaders and voters, hiring campaign staff, and raising millions of dollars from deep-pocketed mega donors, all the while denying that they are even ‘testing the waters’ of a presidential campaign,” Paul S. Ryan of the CLC said in a news release. ...

 The legal center may not buy that. “We are looking closely at it and very well may file a complaint against Mr. Jindal in the coming weeks,” Ryan said. Other candidates, of either party, may be added to the list as well, he said.

Last week’s complaint was the first of its type the center has filed in 13 years in operation. “The behavior has become so egregious in this cycle that we couldn’t resist,” Ryan said. ...

The CLC is eyeing potential violations of the no-coordination rule, Ryan said. It may note that among the Jindal team reportedly heading to Iowa is Jill Neunaber, the executive director of America Next, who managed the 2012 Iowa campaign of Republican Mitt Romney. That information came from Gail Gitcho, another former Romney aide now with Believe Again.

The FEC is unlikely to investigate the complaint, Ryan said: Three of the six commissioners are Republicans who have shown no interest in violations by either party, and they can block action. But that leaves the option of a lawsuit against the commission itself, he said.

To the legal center, it’s a fight worth making. Even the U.S. Supreme Court, which in recent years has struck down many of the fundraising restrictions imposed after the 1970s Watergate scandal and the “soft money” controversy of 15 years ago, has affirmed the corrupting influence of unlimited contributions to candidates, Ryan said. 

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