“For Campaign Finance Violators, Crime Pays”

Mike Gilbert and Samir Sheth:

he Federal Election Commission (FEC) recently levied a record-breaking fine against Right to Rise, a Jeb Bush-connected super PAC, for soliciting an illegal contribution from a foreign national.  The fine brought cheers for the FEC, an agency infamous for deadlock, and heartened people on both sides of the aisle who want better enforcement of campaign finance laws.  There’s just one catch:  Right to Rise came out ahead.  Newly-released documents tell the tale.  In exchange for a $1.3 million contribution, the super PAC paid a $390,000 fine.  The difference—$910,000 in illegal money—is the super PAC’s to keep. 

So much for the cheers. 

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