After Four Years, FEC Takes Action on CLC, D21 Complaint Against Former Rep. Aaron Schock
Even Despite Inadequate FEC Fundraising Rules, Schock Faces $10,000 Penalty
More than four years after the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 filed a complaint, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has finally fined former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) $10,000 for violating the prohibition on candidates asking for donations to a super PAC in excess of $5,000.
“It’s not everyday that the current FEC actually enforces campaign finance laws,” said Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center. “But in this case, even the FEC agreed that Schock crossed the line, though it is absurd that it took the FEC more than four years to resolve a straightforward violation.”
On March 14, 2012, Schock asked former Rep. Eric Cantor for a $25,000 contribution to a super PAC. The legal limit is $5,000. Schock left Congress on March 31, 2015 amid concerns about misuse of campaign funds and other ethics abuses. The FEC plans to enter this case into public record by November 10.
"Our complaint was filed before the 2012 election, and it was relatively simple: it involved one solicitation by Schock that was reported in the press in an article in which Schock admitted to making the solicitation,” said Don Simon, general counsel to Democracy 21. “Yet, it has taken more than four years for the FEC to bring this to a close. That alone speaks volumes about the problems with the current system for enforcing the campaign finance laws.”
The law does not permit a federal candidate or officeholder to solicit more than $5,000 for a Super PAC.
“The agency’s rules make it far too easy for candidates to fundraise for a super PAC without violating the law,” said Brendan Fischer, associate counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. “Rep. Schock couldn’t follow even these inadequate rules, by expressly asking for a big donation rather than doing so implicitly.”