Federal Politics

Published — October 24, 2016 Updated — Today at 7:15 pm EST

Republican Aaron Schock fined for excessively soliciting super PAC funds

Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., during a May 2013 committee hearing in Washington, D.C. Charles Dharapak/AP

Former Illinois congressman to pay $10,000 penalty

Introduction

Politicians, be warned: it’s still against the law for you to solicit big checks from donors for super PACs.

Just ask Aaron Schock — the one-time Republican rising star who resigned from Congress last year after his “Downton Abbey”-themed office makeover led to a barrage of questions about whether he was misusing public money.

New documents show that Schock recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago.

The super PAC, known as the Campaign for Primary Accountability, had caught Schock’s eye during the heated 2012 GOP primary between Reps. Don Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger, who Schock supported and who ultimately prevailed.

At the time, Schock told Roll Call that he wanted “to do everything I could to help the Kinzinger campaign.” That included reaching out to the Campaign for Primary Accountability and steering funds into its coffers.

All super PACs are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations and labor unions. But federal candidates and officeholders are prohibited from soliciting more than $5,000 for these political action committees, which are also barred from coordinating their spending with candidates.

Yet Schock told Roll Call in 2012 that he had asked then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, to “match” $25,000 that Schock would provide for the super PAC’s television assault against Manzullo.

Campaign finance filings show that Cantor used his leadership PAC — a political action committee a lawmaker often uses to aid allies — to inject $25,000 into the Campaign for Primary Accountability.

Another $25,000 came not from Schock’s own campaign committee or leadership PAC, but rather, as previously reported by the Center for Public Integrity, from the 18th District Republican Central Committee, the local political party committee in Schock’s home district.

If Schock had only asked for $5,000, he would have been fine. But his apparent five-figure solicitations drew complaints from the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, election watchdogs in Washington, D.C.

The Federal Election Commission agreed that Schock broke the law, according to new documents released today by the Campaign Legal Center.

The documents indicate Schock admitted to illegally soliciting an excessive amount from Cantor, though he did not admit to excessively soliciting the 18th District Republican Central Committee.

The agreement further states that the bipartisan FEC didn’t find reason to believe that Schock’s violation was “knowing or willful.”

Larry Noble, the Campaign Legal Center’s general counsel, lamented the fact that it took the agency so long to come to this conclusion.

“Here was a clear-cut case, and it’s sad that it still took them four years,” he told the Center for Public Integrity.

Noble added that the ban on politicians making large super PAC solicitations was needed to safeguard against corruption because such solicitations can create the “appearance that the candidate will be beholden to the contributor.”

“It’s a really important rule,” Noble said.

A representative for Schock could not immediately be reached for comment.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.