A pro-Trump super PAC has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Pennsylvania U.S. House candidate Democrat Conor Lamb, alleging unlawful coordination between outside groups and his campaign.
Lamb is facing Republican Rick Saccone in a highly contested special election for the seat in the 18th congressional district near Pittsburgh.
According to the complaint filed Monday by the Committee to Defend the President, Lamb unlawfully signed multiple emails for the liberal super PAC End Citizens United, which directed recipients to fundraising pages soliciting contributions that were not for his campaign committee.
The scheme appears to violate FEC anti-coordination provisions between PACs and political campaigns, as well as election cycle limitations on contributions candidates can receive and disclaimer requirements.
FEC rules provide that federal candidates can receive $2,700 for each primary election and general election cycle in 2018.
The agency also requires candidates to clearly disclose these limitations in a disclaimer accompanying any solicitation for contributions.
“Despite touting his experience as a former Assistant United States Attorney to win votes, Conor Lamb’s dedication to law and order apparently ends when the law poses an obstacle to campaign fundraising,” Committee to Defend the President attorney Peter Mangini stated.
“Lamb’s desperate bid to bolster his flailing campaign through a last-minute fundraising appeal not only violates federal campaign finance law, but also reminds Pennsylvanians that he is the wrong man for the job,” he added.
Lamb significantly outraised Saccone in campaign contributions from January 1 to to February 21 of this year, hauling in $3.3 million compared to Saccone’s $703,000, Politico reported.
The Democrat has also outspent the GOP contender during the time period: $2.9 million to $600,000.
However, outside Republican groups — including the Committee to Defend the President and the Republican National Committee — have come to Saccone’s aid. America First Action spent $1.1 million and the Republican National Committee spent $1 million.
Meanwhile, Lamb has been the beneficiary of $1.1 million from outside spending.
President Donald Trump traveled to southwest Pennsylvania on Saturday night to participate in a campaign style rally for Saccone.
“Rick is going to vote for us all the time,” Trump stated, adding that Lamb — while selling himself as a moderate — cannot be trusted to support the president’s agenda.
“(Lamb) is trying to act like a Republican,” the president said, “He won’t give me one vote.”
“Here’s the problem: As soon as he gets in, he’s not going to vote for us,” Trump emphasized. “He’s going to vote the party line.”
“The task for everyone here tonight is to make sure that this great American comeback continues. Full speed ahead,” said Trump, urging all to get out and vote Saccone on Tuesday.
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