Mother Jones: Ben Carson Isn't Waiting Until the Election's Over to Cash In


Pocketing large speaking fees from all sorts of groups and interests—and the potential conflicts of interest this can create—is not the only potential problem for Carson. Candidates who give paid speeches risk violating campaign finance laws, says Larry Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance legal advocacy group. When Carson now gives a paid speech, he cannot mention his candidacy or refer to his presidential campaign, because if he does so that would make the event a campaign speech from a legal perspective. And if he's getting paid to give a campaign speech, Noble says, the speaking fee would be considered a campaign contribution and be subject to the contribution limits of $2,700—which is much lower than his usual speaking fee. Beyond that, if Carson delivers a campaign speech that is paid for by trade group, corporation, or nonprofit, it would be against campaign finance law, no matter the amount...

"The longer he keeps speaking [for fees], people will raise the question—what is supporting what?" Noble asks. "Is the campaign supporting the speeches, or are the speeches supporting the campaign?" In the end, though, both are supporting the same guy.

To read the full story at Mother Jones, click here.