Courthouse News: Watchdog Claims Bolton SuperPAC May Have Broken Law During Senate Campaign
In a 14-page complaint, the Campaign Legal Center claims Bolton’s group used information from Cambridge Analytica to create advertisements for North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, whose 2014 campaign also worked with the data firm.
But the Campaign Legal Center claims Cambridge Analytica staffer Tim Glister’s online portfolio shows the three groups did not remain separate.
Glister posted he spent three months “helping Thom Tillis’ successful senatorial campaign create highly targeting advertising” using Cambridge Analytica’s data, but only offered an advertisement Bolton’s group made supporting Tillis as a sample of his efforts.
The Campaign Legal Center notes Glister slightly changed the wording of his portfolio after a reporter raised questions about his work.
All told, the Campaign Legal Center claims the alleged coordination between Cambridge Analytica and Bolton’s group means the John Bolton Super PAC should have reported the more than $1.3 million it spent on ads in favor of Tillis as contributions to his campaign. When considered this way, the ads blew past caps on campaign contributions, the Campaign Legal Center claims.
“It is important that the FEC investigate this violation and enforce the law so that the voices of everyday voters are not drowned out by billionaires,” Brendan Fischer, the director of the federal and FEC reform program at the Campaign Legal Center, said in a statement. “This apparent violation fits into a pattern where the use of Cambridge Analytica as a vendor seems to be a condition of billionaire megadonor Robert Mercer’s support of a candidate. Cambridge Analytica has been used in both the U.S. and U.K. to unlawfully coordinate political entities in order to evade campaign finance limits.”