September 20, 2020
American Action News
Ex-Libertarian Presidential Contender, Shaun McCutcheon, Sues FEC Over ‘Bloomberg Billionaire Loophole’
September 18, 2020
Martin Falbisoner via Wikimedia Commons
Shaun McCutcheon, the grassroots conservative activist who won the historic free speech case McCutcheon v. FEC in the Supreme Court, has found an innovative way to challenge Mike Bloomberg’s massive $18 million donation to the Democratic National Convention by suing the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The activist is putting the agency’s feet to the fire by pressuring the FEC to officially advise on the legality of the donation once and for all. If the FEC decides the donation is in-fact legal the repercussions could change the landscape of campaign finance in American electionsAdvertisement –
“Even the billionaires need to play by the rules,” said McCutcheon in an interview with Newsmax. “It’s concerning to me that the rest of us can’t do what Bloomberg can do.”
McCutcheon is entering the fray again and challenging the so-called “Bloomberg Billionaire Loophole.” McCutcheon is asking for an advisory opinion from the FEC which, if approved, would allow the former candidate to donate all of the leftover money from his campaign to the Libertarian Party.
The FEC failed its obligation to rule on McCutcheon’s previous attempt to challenge the legality of the Bloomberg contribution so McCutcheon is now suing the FEC in hopes of forcing it to make a decision. The FEC was unable to offer an advisory opinion on McCutcheon’s challenge because the Commission lacked the required quorum of four or more commissioners.
Read the complaint HERE.
McCutcheon briefly ran and fully self-funded his campaign for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination. He donated $65,000 of his own money to his campaign committee, McCutcheon for Freedom. Out of those funds, McCutcheon spent approximately $15,000 on the unsuccessful pursuit. Now, McCutcheon wants to transfer his remaining $50,000 directly to the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and likely the Republican National Committee (RNC) to support efforts to defeat Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.
“This is pocket change compared to nearly $18 million that plutocrat Michael Bloomberg transferred to the DNC after spending millions in a thinly veiled attempt to blanket the airwaves to drum up support for his candidacy,” stated Dan Backer, McCutcheon’s attorney.
“Federal election law allows an individual to only contribute up to $35,500 per year to a political party – and that same limit applies to Mike Bloomberg’s transferred money– unless and until the FEC or courts approve Shaun McCutcheon’s request to do the same,” backer continued.
Mike Bloomberg “already has his own Super PAC, but unless the FEC or Courts rule otherwise this isn’t one of them. It shouldn’t be this easy to just buy off a political party unless you’re as rich as Bloomberg, apparently,” Backer stated to the Daily Caller. Backer also filed a complaint on behalf of his group Great America PAC in March. In that complaint, Backer alleged that the contribution was in a direct attempt to circumvent campaign finance laws. Read Great America PAC’s complaint HERE.
Political campaigns and individuals have different donation guidelines which allowed Bloomie to donate his remaining $18 million to the DNC after suspending his campaign, creating a “Bloomberg Billionaire Loophole.” This loophole gives former political candidates the ability to circumvent individual contribution limits by allowing them to use their own political campaigns as a pipeline to donate unlimited funds to political parties.
McCutcheon believes that until the courts give a ruling that the DNC should be required to return the $18 million, minus the approved $35,000 individual donation amount.
In an interview with Newsmax, McCutcheon said, “unless a court can say now, which I doubt they can in this short time frame, that we can just all go ahead and donate what we want to the parties then that would be fine but if they can’t in the meantime they need to refund the money.”
According to former FEC Commissioner Brad Smith, Bloomberg’s actions could set the precedent for others to make surplus donations to political parties in the future.
“We may see more of it — now that the tactic has been demonstrated, we should expect that others will probably use it,” Smith said to the Daily Caller.
The FEC was unable to offer an advisory opinion of McCutcheon’s challenge because the Commission lacked the required quorum of four or more commissioners.