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Politics

FEC Complaint Filed Against Aaron Schock

April 30, 2012

The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 lodged a complaint today against Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., with the Federal Elections Commission, "for illegal solicitation" of a super PAC donation from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, according to a release from the group.

The complaint stems from Schock and Cantor's involvement in the member-versus-member primary between Illinois GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo. As Hotline On Call reported, Schock's request that Cantor support Kinzinger by donating to the Campaign for Primary Accountability could have violated a FEC rule:

In an advisory opinion issued last year, the FEC says that federal officeholders and candidates "may solicit up to $5,000 from individuals (and any other source not prohibited by the Act from making a contribution to a political committee)" on behalf of super PACs. Candidates may appear at fundraisers on behalf of super PACs, but they cannot be involved in asking for checks larger than $5,000 -- the reason Cantor, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid or even President Obama, for that matter, can appear at fundraisers for supportive super PACs, but they have to leave the room before staffers ask for donations in order to raise unlimited sums.

As we noted several weeks ago, the FEC is plagued by partisan gridlock, making the chance of Schock getting punished slim. But the Campaign Legal Center's complaint moves this storyline another step down the road and again highlights the tricky legal world that federal officeholders inhabit in the super PAC era.

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