“When Does a Candidate Become a Candidate?”

Brad Smith for the Daily Caller:

CLC wants the FEC to undertake a “fact-based” investigation to determine the moment that Jeb Bush and others became “actual” candidates, or began “testing the waters.” If that approach were the law, there would be no clear rules defining when one crosses the line from thinking about running to actually running, and Governor Bush and other candidates could be subject to criminal penalties for speaking about issues of importance to them, or for helping like-minded candidates raise money.

In September of 2014, for example, Hillary Clinton appeared at a “Steak fry” in the early caucus state of Iowa. Does paying for a flight to Des Moines, buying a tank of gas, and eating a steak, more than two years before an election make one a candidate? Under CLC’s bizarre approach, it might. Or it might not. Guess wrong, and Secretary Clinton could be fitted for an orange pantsuit.


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