Dems say Bruning evades campaign limits, owes government $230,000 in back taxes
The Democrats are going after Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning with an Federal Election Commission complaint that alleges he is violating campaign finance and tax laws in his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
(See an overview of the complaint here: FECBruningviolationscovememo)
The Nebraska Democratic Party filed a complaint alleging he transferred about $677,000 from his unsuccessful 2008 U.S. Senate bid into an exploratory committee which Dems say failed to register with the FEC or the IRS, which they say means he’ll have to pay a 35 percent tax.
Bruning responded by accusing the Democrats — and incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson — of playing dirty to distract voters from Nelson’s support for Obamacare.
“The state Democratic Party is rehashing their baseless claims previously filed against the Bruning campaign — which had no merit the first time the Democrats complained and still have no merit,” said Trent Fellers, Bruning’s campaign manager. “There is nothing to these allegations. Every single contribution and disbursement of the Bruning campaign has been fully reported to the FEC in one or more FEC reports over several years. The Democratic Party is well aware of that fact but is intent upon changing the subject from Sen. Ben Nelson’s abysmal record as a Senator.”
When Bruning announced his candidacy in November, Dems say he failed to file a statement of candidacy within 15 days or register his committee within 10 days or file a year-end report, as required by law. The complaint alleges that the $448,000 transferred from Bruning’s first exploratory committee to his Senate campaign should have identified the donors and should have been registered as a political committee.
The complaint says:
Yet more than five months later, Mr. Bruning still has not registered this committee. As a result, the public does not know who funded his “exploratory” activities or how the “exploratory” funds were spent – including what happened to the $66,586.46 that represents the difference between what Mr. Bruning transferred into the first exploratory committee in 2007 ($677,251.49) and what he transferred out of it in 2010 ($610,663.03).
This may only be “the tip of the iceberg,” the complaint goes on to say, alleging that by “hiding his donors” to his exploratory committee, Bruning can evade federal spending limits because the donors could give more than allowed by law, and nobody would know it. They say that way he can raise money under three limits, rather than two, as other candidates do.
Let the games begin!