PRESS RELEASE from Hunter for President, Inc.
February 27, 2007
* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Roy Tyler
Hunter’s campaign responds to questions raised about Political Action Committee’s advertising.
The Peace Through Strength Political Action Committee asked for and received a ruling of their ads by an outside counsel, according to chairman, William Canfield. Canfield is the former two-time Chairman of the American Bar Associations’ Standing Committee on Election Law, and now heads the Peace Through Strength Political Action Committee.
In constructing the commercials, the PAC was well aware of the Federal Election Commission requirement that the funds cannot be spent to advocate the election or defeat of an identified candidate. According to Canfield, great effort was made to ensure that nothing in the ads could constitute expressed advocacy.
Canfield concludes that the ads comply with the regulations of the Federal Election Commission and will continue to be aired.
PRESS RELEASE from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
March 14, 2007
CREW Asks FEC to Investigate Presidential Candidate Duncan Hunter's Leadership PAC
Washington, DC – Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today filed a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against the Peace Through Strength Political Action Committee (PTS PAC), the leadership PAC for presidential candidate Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). The complaint asks the FEC to investigate PTS PAC’s illegal support of Rep. Hunter’s presidential campaign.
Rep. Hunter announced his intentions to explore a presidential bid in October 2006. Beginning in December 2006, he promoted his candidacy by running advertisements with money he both raised and spent illegally. In December 2006, PTS PAC aired thinly-veiled campaign advertisements in early primary states promoting Rep. Hunter’s support for constructing a fence along the US-Mexico border.
Although federal election law allows a candidate to “test the waters” – meaning spend funds for travel and polling – a candidate who is testing the waters cannot spend more than $5,000 on general public political advertising such as the ads run by Rep. Hunter. Once a person spends over $5,000 in support of a presidential campaign, he automatically becomes a candidate under federal election law.
In addition, once a person becomes a candidate, he or she may only accept individual contributions of up to $2,300 per election. While supporting Rep. Hunter’s efforts to test the waters, PTS PAC received 11 individual contributions over that limit, with the result that the PAC received $27,350 in excess contributions.
Finally, by purchasing ads for Rep. Hunter, PTS PAC made “in-kind” contributions to Hunter’s presidential campaign. A presidential campaign can only accept up to a $5,000 contribution from a PAC per election yet PTS PAC spent $17,575 to run its border fence advertisement in New Hampshire. The PAC also made additional ad buys in other early primary states, including South Carolina, North Carolina and South Dakota.
Despite the fact that such conduct is a clear violation of federal election law, press reports suggest that PTSPAC is continuing to raise funds and use those funds in support of Rep. Hunter’s presidential campaign. As a result, CREW has asked the FEC for expedited consideration of its complaint.
PRESS RELEASE from Hunter for President, Inc.
March 14, 2007
Hunter’s campaign responds to CREW’s FEC Complaint
A group calling themselves Citizens for Responsible and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, reportedly filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against the Peace through Strength PAC, which is the leadership political Action Committee for Presidential candidate Hunter. The complaint asks the FEC to investigate the PAC’s supposedly illegal support of Rep. Hunter’s presidential campaign.
Legal counsel for the Duncan Hunter for President Campaign responded today to the charge that the candidate had violated Federal Election Laws. William B. Canfield, the Peace Through Strength Political Action Committee’s legal counsel was actively engaged in all aspects of the creation and airing of the Committee’s public policy ads questioned by CREW. According to Canfield, the PAC was well aware of the Federal Election Commission’s requirement that its funds cannot be spent to advocate the election or defeat of an identified candidate. “Great effort was made to ensure that nothing in the ads could constitute express advocacy of any candidacy,” noted Canfield.
Canfield reaffirms his belief that the ads comply with the regulations of the Federal Election Commission and will continue to be aired. Canfield added, “Melanie Sloan is a former Congressional employee of Congressman John Conyers (D – MI) and has become a serial filer of ethics and FEC complaints. Sloan and CREW (whose board of directors include a number of well-known Democrat fundraisers) have seen the financial benefits that accrue to those special interest groups who file frivolous complaints and then send direct mail to their donor base seeking additional contributions based on the filing of those very same complaints.”
Canfield stated that a well-known Washington, D.C. law firm is preparing a formal complaint to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service, which will specifically challenge CREW's current tax-exempt status. “To maintain its current tax status with the IRS, CREW will have to demonstrate that it operates in a non-political, non-partisan manner...CREW cannot meet that standard given the number of complaints it has filed against Republican Members of Congress and Republican campaign committees in comparison to the number of complaints it has filed against Democrats. For example, CREW remained silent about the allegations surrounding Congressman John Conyer's use of his Detroit office Congressional staff to baby-sit and transport his children and, most recently, CREW remained silent regarding Sen. Harry Reid (D – Nev.) and his very controversial real estate transactions in Las Vegas,” said Canfield.
Canfield is the former two-time Chairman of the American Bar Associations’ Standing Committee on Election Law, and now heads the Peace Through Strength Political Action Committee.
Contact: Roy Tyler (928) 941-1079 for clarification or additional information