Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wisconsin Governor at the Center of Alleged Campaign Finance Conspiracy

Matt Worley, Esq
Wisconsin Governor and potential Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, Scott Walker, appears to have found himself in the center of an alleged campaign finance criminal conspiracy.

The conservative groups in this case are called “independent expenditure committees,” often referred to as Super PACs.  This type of political committee is allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money advocating for or against candidates for office and for ballot issues.  However, there are very specific requirements that these groups must follow. Specifically, they are prohibited from coordinating in any way with a candidate’s campaign.  This means that they cannot communicate or work together with the candidate himself.  They are also prohibited from coordinating with other committees that support specific candidates.

Prosecutors allege that Governor Walker and several of his top aides did just that – illegally coordinated fundraising and spending among 12 conservative groups in order to help his campaign.  It is also alleged that these groups coordinated with several state senators who faced recall elections in 2011 and 2012.

Responding to these allegations, the independent groups do not deny that they coordinated; however, they do deny the coordination was illegal.

The moral of this story is that political campaign financing regulations, and specifically those relating to political committees, are complex.  Attempting to operate a PAC, without knowledge of the many laws and regulations, creates the potential for disaster.  As the situation with Governor Walker illustrates, violators may face fines, fees, and even criminal charges.

If you are interested in creating a political committee, but don’t know where to start, contact the experienced legal professionals at Fausone Bohn, LLP.  We can help you create your PAC and set up a compliance program to satisfy the state’s reporting requirements.  Contact John Walsh or Matthew Worley at (248) 380-0000 or online at www.fb-firm.com. 

To read more on the Governor Walker case, please visit:

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