Sen. Lee Wants to Be First Politician to Own Super PAC
Freshman Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) wants to be the first sitting officeholder to directly run his own super PAC, reports The Salt Lake Tribune
Lee asked the Federal Election Commission for him to be able to accept unlimited funds from both corporations and wealthy donors in a super PAC he would use to support fellow like-minded conservatives running for Congress.
“This is taking the campaign finance world into new waters,” said spokesman for the Center for Representative Politics, Michael Beckel. “As super PACs have arisen, most candidates have tried to keep their relationship with these groups at arm’s length.”
That is until now. While candidates might attend the occasional fundraiser or ask for a small monetary donation, they have never directly lobbied for unlimited contributions that have become the staple of these super PACs.
Lee’s Constitutional Conservative Fund already sent its legal argument to the FEC last week, asking for the FEC to allow the fund to accept donations of any amount as long as it puts the cash in a separate fund that would only be used in order to support candidates Lee endorses or to oppose candidates Lee thinks should be defeated.
“This would be ground-breaking,” said Paul Ryan, attorney with the super PAC-opponents Campaign Legal Center. “And it would be squarely illegal."
Ryan argues that if Lee were allowed to run his own super PAC, he would be in direct defiance of the whole point of campaign finance laws, which were put in place in order to fight possible political corruption like this.
The FEC is reportedly set to issue an opinion on the matter by the end of November.