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End Citizens United Files FEC Complaint Against Rosendale for Contributions Above Legal Limit

Aug 13, 2018

Rosendale breaks election law by raising over legal limit; filing includes several reporting errors

End Citizens United (ECU) today filed a complaint with the Federal Election Committee (FEC) against Montana Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. The complaint states Rosendale broke FEC regulations by accepting contributions above the legal limit. Rosendale has neither returned nor redesignated the excess contributions.

According to Rosendale’s July Quarterly FEC Report, Rosendale accepted multiple donations above the legal limit, which is $2,700 from individuals and $5,000 from PACs and committees. Candidates are prohibited from knowingly accepting contributions above these limits.

In late June, Rosendale took 34 contributions above the legal limit. In doing so, he is required to return the excess contributions or redesignate them — with permission from the donor — to another account. In nine of those cases, Rosendale has taken no such action, which is in clear violation of the law.

In several other cases, Rosendale improperly reported that he was redesignating excess money to his June 5th primary campaign. While a primary is considered a separate election with its own limits, a candidate cannot redesignate contributions to the primary once it is over. A candidate is allowed to redesignate contributions to pay down debt from a primary however it is not clear that Rosendale has enough debt in his primary account to equal the amount designated to it. This would also lead to excessive contributions in violation of the law.

“Matt Rosendale continues to look for ways around the law to benefit his own political ambitions” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United. “We’re uncovering a shady pattern of behavior: from unethical campaign finance schemes, to opposition to Montana’s good government and transparency laws, to flat out breaking election law. The FEC should investigate this complaint immediately.”

This isn’t the first time Rosendale has come under fire for taking more money from donors than legally allowed. In July, he was caught “cooking the books” in a shady campaign finance scheme that experts compared to “money laundering.”

The Violation:

Here, Respondents have plainly accepted contributions in excess of the lawful limits and likely misreported their activity. Under any reading of the July Quarterly Report, Respondents have committed violations of the Act.

A.     Facially Excessive Contributions

B.     Improper Redesignations

C.     Reporting Errors

Click here to read the FEC complaint.