The Phoenix Flyer

Second group files complaint over DeSantis’ transfer of state PAC cash to federal super PAC

By: - June 21, 2023 4:20 pm

Ron DeSantis speaking in Bedford, New Hampshire, on May 19, 2023. Source: Screenshot/YouTube

A second organization has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) regarding Ron DeSantis’ recent transfer of $82.5 million from his state political action committee to the federal super PAC backing his presidential campaign.

The group alleges that the transfer of money collected for a state campaign and then moved to a federal campaign violates federal election laws.

The complaint (which can be read here) from the group End Citizens United (ECU) comes weeks after the Campaign Legal Center filed a similar complaint with the FEC.

“Ron DeSantis’s transfer of these funds is a flagrant and egregious violation of federal law. These rules are designed to safeguard against undue influence over elected officials and outright corruption,” said ECU President Tiffany Muller in a statement.

“Every corporation and billionaire that contributed to this fund will, at the very least, attempt to exert influence over DeSantis if he emerges victorious in the election. This is a major cause for concern for any candidate, but especially a prominent presidential candidate. We urge the FEC to immediately launch an investigation into DeSantis’ corrupt scheme and hold him accountable.”

The controversy stems from DeSantis’ recent transfer of $82.5 million from “Friends of Ron DeSantis,” a state political committee that took in more than $200 million for his race for reelection for governor last fall. But End Citizens United says that he “continued to finance, maintain, and control it while he was testing the waters as a federal candidate” for months after that campaign ended last November.

DeSantis transferred that money to Never Back down, a super PAC supporting his presidential campaign, just as he became a federal candidate at the end of May. Combined with a series of other events, End Citizens United contends that DeSantis “appears to have attempted to circumvent federal law by having the state committee change its officers, the committee’s name, and the website within days of his presidential campaign announcement.

An official with the Campaign Legal Center told the Phoenix earlier this month that it’s not likely that the FEC will take up the issue until some time next year.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.