Kid Rock’s Alleged Senate Campaign Reported By Watchdog Group
For all intents and purposes, Kid Rock has launched a campaign to run for U.S. Senate in 2018: Although he has not officially announced his intentions, he's selling T-shirts and bumper stickers on KidRockForSenate.com, which he claims is no joke. But apparently, the rockstar, aka Robert Ritchie, hasn't registered himself officially as a candidate, which a non-partisan watchdog group, Common Cause, says is a violation of federal law.
In a complaint filed by Common Cause, Rock is said to have "violated the candidate registration and reporting requirements" by selling campaign merchandise without registering as a candidate. Common Cause Vice President of Policy and Litigation Paul S. Ryan says that whether Rock is serious or not, selling campaign merchandise without having registered as a candidate is illegal.
“Regardless of whether Kid Rock says he’s only exploring candidacy, he’s selling ‘Kid Rock for Senate’ merchandise and is a candidate under the law," Ryan says in a statement. "This is campaign finance law 101."
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Rock, a native of Detroit, said in an earlier statement that the funds raised from his merch aren't going to a campaign; rather, the money is being put toward a newly formed 501(c)(4) non-profit fund to promote voter registration.
"I absolutely will use this media circus to sell / promote whatever I damn well please," Rock says. "Money raised at this time through the sale of merchandise associated with this very possible campaign will go towards our ‘register to vote’ efforts.”
In response to Common Cause's allegations, Rock tells TheWrap, "No. 1: I have still not officially announced my candidacy. No. 2: See No. 1 and go f--k yourselves.”
Common Cause's complaint is requesting the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice investigate and "impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations" upon Rock and Warner Bros. Records, as KidRockForSenate.com is run through the company, as well as "additional remedies as are necessary and appropriate to ensure compliance” with the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA).
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