Common Cause

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Bush, Walker, Flouting Campaign Finance Laws

Common Cause Urges Candidates to Follow Fundraising Limits While 'Testing the Waters'

WASHINGTON - Common Cause called on prospective presidential candidates today to abide by the nation’s campaign finance laws and follow rules governing fundraising while “testing the waters” for a 2016 campaign.

In letters to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the non-partisan government watchdog organization accused both men of an “apparent disregard of campaign finance laws.

“It is disappointing to see those who aspire to our nation’s highest office begin their pursuit of it by flouting the law,” the letters assert.

"While a number of would-be candidates in both parties are pushing the limits of the law, Govs. Bush and Walker clearly have stepped over the line and are engaged in improper fundraising activities," said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport. “They need to stop playing charades with the American people.”

Rapoport noted that federal law puts a $2,700 cap on individual donations to declared candidates for a party nomination and those who merely are “testing the waters.” But while neither forming campaign committees nor acknowledging that they’re exploring running, Bush and Walker have been busy soliciting five- and six-figure gifts to political committees created to aid their respective candidacies, he said. Both men also have been crisscrossing the country speaking to Republican groups and dropping not-so-subtle hints about their plans.

“These two aren’t just testing the waters, they’re swimming laps,” Rapoport said.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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