WASHINGTON — Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told The Daily Caller on Saturday at the National Governors Association winter meeting that an FEC complaint filed against an organization he’s affiliated with is just a result of Democrats willing to “do anything” to attack him.
The American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission almost two weeks ago alleging a potential campaign violation by Walker’s 527 Committee Our American Revival, The Wisconsin Gazette reported.
According to the ADLF complaint, filed by Brad Woodhouse, OAR’s Andrew Hitt may have violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. “The facts indicate that Gov. Walker is testing the waters for a campaign for president of the United States, using OAR as his exploratory committee, and in doing so is raising and spending funds that are beyond the contribution limits and source restrictions of the FEC Act.”
Woodhouse is also the president of the liberal organization Americans United for Change and the Democratic Super PAC American Bridge. He is also the former communications director for the Democratic National Committee.
Walker shot back, “The Democrats and the National DNC chair showed last year and last campaign that they will say and do anything. [Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz] used some of the most outrageous language that equated to domestic violence to describe polices that I and others in the state had been involved in—both Democrat and Republican alike.” He added, “And it just shows me that there’s no level by which the national DNC will be outrageous. So we think they’ll say and do anything and we don’t think there’s any standing to what they’ve said thus far.”
According to the Federal Elections Commission, prior to deciding to run for federal office a person may want to “test the waters” of the potential race to see if there is enough support for his or her candidacy. A person who “merely conducts selected testing the waters activities does not have to register or report as a candidate even if the individual raises or spends more than $5,000 on those activities,” the FEC states, noting that the $5k threshold would normally trigger candidate registration.
The FEC no longer considers a person “testing the waters” when the individual starts to refer to him or herself as a candidate, for example. Another example of “no longer testing the waters” would be that a person uses general public political ads to market his or her intention to run for office or participates in political events over a long period of time before the election. Finally, the most obvious example that a person is running for office is that the individual takes action to qualify for the ballot.
As of now, a minor candidate — Cherunda Lynn Fox — is the only person to form an exploratory committee for the 2016 presidential election. Although some believed the Wisconsin governor was close to forming an exploratory committee this month, Walker spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowsi insisted to TheDC this simply was not the case.
As far as a creating an exploratory committee is concerned, Walker told TheDC, “We got Our American Revival right now–a 527. It gets us an ample opportunity to get our message out about reform and as we explore along the way, or should we decide to, we would go probably from that to an outright presidential campaign if we thought the circumstances were right, but that’s still a ways off.”
Walker met with donors in New York City over the past few days and. according to some, he is looking to pull in some supporters who will easily jump on the Wisconsin Republican’s bandwagon. In fact, he even poached some of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s supporters while he was there. However, according to Walker, there are no hard feelings.
“There’s no friction with me or with any of the likely candidates. Chris Christie and I are good friends. We watched the Packers and Giants game together. Our sons are good friends. Our wives are good friends. Jeb Bush and I are good friends. Jeb called me personally before he announced his PAC. I don’t think you’re gonna see any friction between me and any of the other likely candidates. The governors and the former governors are the ones I know best. I don’t know members of the Senate quite as well. I’m a big admirer of Marco Rubio and like him and worked with him in the past, largely because he went to law school with one of my friends, Reince Priebus.