Common Cause Claims Marjorie Taylor Greene Violated FEC Soft-Money Ban
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Group Claims Marjorie Taylor Greene Violated Federal Election Law in ‘Stop Socialism’ Video Ad

US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill on February 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. - The Democratic-led US House voted on February 4, 2021 to discipline a congresswoman who embraced QAnon conspiracy theories and endorsed violence, capping weeks of mounting turmoil over holding to account a lawmaker whose extremist rhetoric caused a rupture in Republican ranks. (Photo by Alex Edelman / AFP)

A government watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) violated the “soft money” ban in a fundraising video aimed at the January 2021 Georgia Senate runoff race.

The FEC complaint, filed Friday by watchdog group Common Cause, alleges that Greene solicited unlimited contributions for the super PAC Stop Socialism NOW in an effort to defeat Democrats Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s January special election. Specifically, the group claims that Greene violated 52 U.S.C. § 30109(a)(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by speaking in a one-minute video, and asking for donations without any mention of limitations required by law.

In the video, Greene speaks for 47 seconds, and says the following:

 “This is Marjorie Taylor Greene. Imagine. Biden and Harris in the White House. Pelosi is Speaker. And Schumer runs the Senate. All because Georgia lost our two Senate runoff seats to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock. First off, Democrats will end the filibuster so no one can stop them. Then they’ll add new Democrat states. They’ll pack the Supreme Court. They’ll take away our guns. Then they’ll add their open borders, Green New Deal, pro-abortion, socialist agenda. Stop Socialism Now PAC is fighting back, not quitting, by exposing Ossoff’s and Warnock’s radical agenda. Stop Socialism Now PAC will stop Ossoff and Warnock from stealing our Senate seats. It’s time to fight back now, before it’s too late.”

Voice-over narration concludes the one-minute video, urging viewers, “Help save America and stop socialism,” and warning, “Make a contribution today to Stop Socialism Now PAC, because if Democrats win in Georgia, it’s all over for America.”

FECA imposes an annual maximum donation of $5,000 for an individual donor to a non-candidate, non-party committee. FECA also prohibits a federal candidate or officeholder from soliciting any unlimited donations, or from soliciting donations from corporations or unions.

Per the complaint, “Rep. Greene did not limit her solicitation of contributions to $5,000 per donor per year and did not foreclose in her solicitation corporation and labor organization contributions.” The complaint also gives some context. It explains that Stop Socialism NOW, the PAC to which Greene solicited contributions,  explicitly states that it “may accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, PACs, unions and trade associations,” in direct contravention of FECA.

Common Cause requests that the FEC conduct an immediate investigation into Greene, impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations, and enjoin Greene from future violations.

Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, issued the following statement:

“Candidate contribution and solicitation limits are a vital bulwark against deep-pocketed individuals and special interests attempting to buy influence and drown out the voices of the American people. The United States Supreme Court has been very clear in upholding candidate contribution limits and prohibitions on candidates soliciting funds outside those limits because such contributions lead to corruption and undermine the faith of Americans in the political process.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene did not immediate reply to Law&Crime’s request for comment.

[image via Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images]

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Elura is a columnist and trial analyst for Law & Crime. Elura is also a former civil prosecutor for NYC's Administration for Children's Services, the CEO of Lawyer Up, and the author of How To Talk To Your Lawyer and the Legalese-to-English series. Follow Elura on Twitter @elurananos