The Worst Campaign Finance Law Violation in History

Let's be clear about this and call it what it was: Quite possibly the worst campaign finance violation in American history.  A presidential campaign was illegally raking in tons of cash that it illicitly used to swing an election.

It was, in short, the very crime that campaign finance laws were designed to stop.

An audit from the Federal Election Commission determined that the campaign knowingly took money in excess of campaign contribution limits; accepting more than $1.3 million in contributions from supporters who had already given it the legal maximum of $46,000 and then refusing to return the cash immediately after regulators found it.  In addition, the campaign refused to disclose where it had received 1,300 large donations totaling approximately $1.9 million.  

Taken together, it was a rather obvious scheme to get around campaign finance laws and funnel illegal money to a presidential campaign.  Yet it didn't result in criminal charges, plea deals, or calls for impeachment.  The campaign merely paid a $375,000 fine (one of the largest the FEC ever issued) and refunded the money.

There was no outrage in the media, no claims of a widespread criminal conspiracy, no calls for the president's indictment.  Why not? 

Because this was President Obama's 2008 campaign

The circumstances were of course different, but the underlying principle is identical--an unlawful attempt to get around campaign finance laws to help a candidate get elected.  Moreover, the scale of the illegal money was much greater in 2008 than it was in 2016 but the enforcement of the law was far less aggressive.

It wouldn't have anything to do with the target of that enforcement, would it?

Dan O'Donnell

Dan O'Donnell

Common Sense Central is edited by WISN's Dan O'Donnell. Dan provides unique conservative commentary and analysis of stories that the mainstream media often overlooks. Read more


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