Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kris Kobach is apparently violating federal campaign finance laws by raising money through a nonprofit, The Daily Beast reported Thursday.
“Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is using a nonprofit group he advises to raise money for his U.S. Senate campaign, and legal experts say one recent fundraising push likely ran afoul of federal campaign finance laws,” The Beast noted. “On Thursday, Kobach sent a fundraising appeal to an email list maintained by We Build The Wall, a 501(c)(4) advocacy group currently attempting to build a wall on the southern border using private funds.”
Kobach is the group’s general counsel.
“As a donor to WeBuildTheWall, I humbly ask you to support my run for the Senate,” the email read.
The email sought campaign donations ranging from $50 to $2,800.
Paul S. Ryan of Common Cause explained the problem with the email.
“At a minimum, this Kobach for Senate fundraising solicitation email appears to violate the ‘paid for by’ disclaimer requirement” for official campaign communications, Ryan said in an email, referencing the requirement that campaigns clearly disclose the financial sponsors–generally the campaigns themselves–behind official political communications,” The Beast explained. “Kobach’s email might be above board if his campaign paid fair market value for its use of the We Build The Wall list. But in that case it would be legally required to include that ‘paid for by’ disclaimer, which was entirely absent from the Thursday email.”
“If the Kobach committee did not pay fair market value for the cost of disseminating this email,” Ryan explained, “then the Kobach committee has arguably committed the more serious campaign finance law violation of receiving a corporate contribution in the form of a coordinated expenditure.”
Kobach lost the 2018 gubernatorial race in Kansas.
Honestly the best part of Kobach's email is the final paragraph: "I'm want to represent you in the United States States…" pic.twitter.com/QV1Uir1rCq
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) August 2, 2019