When Governor Rick Scott announced his plans to run for the Senate seat in Florida he was, that same day, served with a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission that he was already in violation of campaign finance laws.
The PAC End Citizens United, which was formed in 2015 to overturn the controversial Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in 2010, filed the complaint. They allege that Scott violated several campaign finance laws during and after his time as the chair of the New Republican PAC.
End Citizens United alleges first that Scott’s campaign and New Republican have been coordinating with each other on fundraising, which is a clear violation of the law: PACs can spend any amount of money and are allowed to campaign for whomever they choose, but they cannot be in contact with the campaign. But Scott held a fundraising dinner for the PAC in February, after he was supposed to, according to the law, step down as chairman of New Republican.
Read more: How to Reverse Citizens United
Scott also uses the same fundraiser as New Republican, Jenny Drucker. The PAC also used the same mailing address as the Scott campaign until at least February. A poll organized for the Scott campaign was also funded by New Republican, all according to the complaint filed by End Citizens United.
Scott and his campaign deny any wrongdoing in this matter, an echo of another financial scandal of Scott’s. In 1997 he resigned as the CEO of Columbia/HCA, a major healthcare provider. The company was charged with fraud under his leadership and forced to pay $1.7 billion in fines, the largest amount a company had been fined at the time in the medical field. Scott blamed his subordinates for the disaster and left the company.
End Citizens United is not the only organization bringing these accusations against Scott: The story of his fundraising dinner for New Republican was broken by the Tampa Bay Times before End Citizens United filed their complaints.
In the long run End Citizens United’s wants to provide a constitutional amendment or court decision that overturns the CU ruling.