Two groups request DOJ investigation into Jeb Bush's Super PAC
Jeb Bush is not technically running for president yet, but now two nonprofit groups are questioning whether or not the presumptive candidate should be held to the same standards as the official candidates, and taking their case to the Justice Department.
Democracy 21 and The Campaign Legal Center joined forces and fired off a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch Wednesday requesting that the DOJ investigate whether Bush and the Super PAC that he founded are in violation of campaign finance laws.
Bush created the Right to Rise Super PAC to "support candidates who share our optimistic, conservative, positive vision for helping every American get ahead."
But the laws around Super PACs become murky when one of those candidates could be Bush himself.
Despite the fact that the former Florida Governor hasn't announced his bid for the White House, Democracy 21 and The Campaign Legal Center allege that he is operating as a candidate.
"Jeb Bush is a candidate for President," the groups allege in a 16 page letter to the DOJ "The Right to Rise Super PAC is an entity that has been established, and is being financed, maintained and controlled, by Bush and his agents. The Super PAC is also acting on behalf of Bush. As such, it is prohibited from raising or spending money that does not comply with Federal contribution limits and source prohibitions."
Last month Bush told several hundred donors in Florida that the Super PAC raised a record breaking amount of money in its first 100 days but wouldn't quote a specific figure. Sources say the ballpark estimate will be about 100 million dollars by the end of the month.
According to the Federal Election Commission a candidate can only solicit $2700 from a single contributor.
Bush insists he's just "exploring" a run for the White House, but earlier this month he slipped up when talking to reporters. "I'm running for president in 2016, and the focus is gonna be about how we—if I run—how do you create high, sustained economic growth, where more people have a chance at earned success?"
"There are powerful grounds to conclude that the political charade being perpetrated on the American people by former Governor Jeb Bush and his associated individual-candidate super-PAC is illegal," a rep from Democracy 21 told Bloomberg.A spokesperson from the DOJ told reporters that the letter will be reviewed.