House Democrats have exploited campaign finance law to pay rent for dozens of campaign offices used by their candidates in 2018 — an arrangement that’s further padded the party’s massive financial advantage in the midterms even as Republicans cry foul.
A number of House Democratic candidates haven’t paid a dime to rent the buildings where they based their campaign operations, according to a POLITICO review of Federal Election Commission records. Others rented space earlier this year but suddenly stopped some or all of the payments after winning their primaries. In their place, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee picked up the tab — paying over $1 million in office rent to property managers and limited liability companies in 22 states over the past two years, the committee’s FEC reports show.
The spending on 52 offices around the country, known internally as DCCC “Battlestations,” comes from a special fund established under a 2014 law that the DCCC can use only to maintain party headquarters buildings — not for other conventional campaign activities. The FEC has never issued regulations interpreting the law and saying exactly how the “headquarters funds” can be used, or whether this use of them is appropriate.