“FEC Deadlocks on Charges Candidate Sought ‘Soft Money’”

Bloomberg BNA:

The Federal Election Commission dismissed on a deadlocked, party-line vote allegations that Jon Keyser, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Colorado illegally solicited $3 million in unlimited “soft money” contributions to aid his 2016 campaign.

Documents released by the FEC showed the allegations against Keyser, a former Colorado state legislator, focused on news reports that, while he was considering running for the U.S. Senate, he traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet potential supporters and attend a forum sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition….

The six FEC commissioners divided 3-3 in a vote on whether to pursue enforcement action. The FEC general counsel’s office recommended that the commissioners find “no reason to believe” that Keyser violated a campaign finance law that bars a federal candidate from soliciting soft money.
The FEC’s three Republican commissioners voted to follow staff recommendations in a report from the general counsel’s office on the enforcement complaint, designated Matter Under Review (MUR) 7008. The report relied on a response letter from Keyser’s attorney and an affidavit from the candidate acknowledging that he met with potential supporters before declaring his Senate candidacy but “did not solicit or accept any contributions during this time.”

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