Complaint: Mississippi Senate Candidate Chris McDaniel Engaged in Brazen Coordination with Mercer-Backed Super PAC ‘Remember Mississippi’
WASHINGTON – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Remember Mississippi, a super PAC funded by national GOP megadonors Robert Mercer and Richard Uihlein, illegally made contributions to Mississippi U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel. Among other things, the Remember Mississippi super PAC, which was formed by McDaniel’s assistant, took the unprecedented step of organizing, funding and advertising three McDaniel campaign events, which included speeches expressly advocating for McDaniel’s election in front of a “McDaniel U.S. Senate 2018” backdrop.
“We’ve never seen a super PAC take the brazen step of organizing and funding straight up campaign events for the candidate they are supporting,” said Brendan Fischer, director, federal and FEC reform at CLC. “Thanks to the FEC’s ineffective enforcement of the law, super PACs and campaigns have increasingly found ways to work closely with one another, but it appears this Mercer-backed super PAC went too far. If it wants candidates to take campaign laws seriously, the FEC must investigate and punish violators for wrongdoing.”
The super PAC paid for McDaniel campaign events, advertised for them, and promoted his candidacy at them. McDaniel’s personal assistant at his law firm, Susan Perkins, organized the group and became its treasurer, while also managing the McDaniels’ campaign Facebook page.
“Super PACs are categorically prohibited from making contributions to candidates,” said Adav Noti, senior director, trial litigation at CLC, and former associate general counsel for policy at the FEC. “The FEC should strip Remember Mississippi of its status as a super PAC, which appears to have been obtained under false pretenses, and impose major fines to deter others from violating this bright-line rule in the future."
Remember Mississippi received $1 million from Mercer and Uihlein. McDaniel acknowledged publicly his relationship to the super PAC’s financiers, saying “the Mercers and other donors have pledged more than $1 million” to support his candidacy, and emphasized that “I’ve known the Mercers since 2013, and we’ve talked a good deal about 2018.”