Today, the American Democracy Legal Fund filed complaints against the Congressmen Todd Rokita and Luke Messer for campaigning for Senate in Indiana without filing as candidates for any office.
Federal Election rules require individuals running for federal office to register and file financial reports when their campaign activities go beyond “testing the waters” of their candidacy or when they raise or spend more than $5,000 in contributions or expenditures. Both Rokita and Messer have raised far more than the $5,000 limit for non-candidates, and both have discussed their candidacies for Senate in public and in the media multiple times.
“Luke Messer and Todd Rokita are both knowingly violating federal election law,” said Brad Woodhouse of ADLF. “They’ve made it clear that they’re running for Senate and they should register as candidates immediately so that Indiana voters get the transparency in this election that they deserve.”
Some of Rokita’s campaign activities in violation of FEC regulations:
- Rokita has publicly talked about his candidacy: he referred to himself as a candidate for Senate in an article, stating “I’m definitely the best candidate against [U.S. Senator from Indiana] Joe Donnelly,” and, in February, he posted an article about the Senate race to his campaign website.
- In February, the Federal Election Commission sent Rokita a letter giving him 35 days to declare that he is either not a candidate, or to file a Statement of Candidacy. Four months has passed with no response from Rep. Rokita, and he has not filed a Statement of Candidacy for any federal office, whether for Congress or the Senate, yet he has continued to discuss his Senate candidacy in the public sphere and fundraise.
- Rokita hired a well-known Republican fundraiser, Dan Dumezich, to serve as the Chairman of his Statewide Campaign Finance Committee, yet he has not registered as a candidate for any statewide office.
- Rokita’s campaign recently announced that it has raised more than $300,000 in contributions during the first quarter of this year and has more than $1.5 million in cash on hand, far beyond the $5,000 that can be raised without filing, and far more than is necessary to “test the waters.”
Some of Messer’s campaign activities in violation of FEC regulations:
- Messer announced a 50-member Statewide Finance Committee, yet he is not registered as a candidate for any statewide office.
- In the same announcement, Messer included a list of “Individuals Supporting Messer for United States Senate” and his deputy campaign manager said “we look forward to welcoming additional members to the team who are committed to supporting Luke Messer for the United States Senate.”
- Messer’s campaign recently announced that it has raised more than $700,000 in contributions during the first quarter of this year and has more than $1.6 million in cash on hand, far beyond the $5,000 that can be raised without filing, and far more than is necessary to “test the waters.”