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Progressive Group Files FEC Complaint Against Kasich Allies

Sep 24, 2015

A progressive-leaning campaign watchdog group is accusing allies of Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich of breaking elections and ethics laws to donate to Kasich's super PAC. 

Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

The American Democracy Legal Fund filed an ethics complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Mark Kvamme and Paul Johannsen of creating a new LLC just to donate money to the governor’s presidential run.  
 
Kvamme is a former director of the department of development and then JobsOhio. Johannsen is also a Kasich ally. Their company created a company called MMWP12, and the next day that company donated $500,000 to an affiliate to Kasich’s super PAC—New Day for America.  
 
Mary Jennings, from the group that filed the complaint, said the new company has not taken the other steps necessary to be considered a political committee.  
 
“This is basically nothing else than a dummy organization that’s formed whose major purpose is to influence the election,” said Jennings.  
 
The American Democracy Legal Fund was founded by two longtime Democratic operatives. This is the second complaint filed by the American Democracy Legal Fund against Kasich and his super PAC. In August, the group claimed that Kasich himself was illegally coordinating with New Day for America, noting that both Kasich and New Day had missed key federal financial reporting deadlines.  
 
And Kasich is hardly the group’s only target – it’s filed complaints against the campaigns of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, and Jim Gilmore. And the ADLF has also accused several conservative groups including American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity of illegally coordinating with Republican presidential campaigns.  
 
Connie Wehrkamp is the spokesperson for New Day for America. She said the Kasich super PAC and its related committees are “careful to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.” She went on to say they are confident that all their activities were legal and that the FEC will throw out the complaint.  
 
Wehrkamp notes that the American Defense Legal Fund is a political ally of Hillary Clinton. And Wehrkamp says the complaint shows that they’re worried about Kasich’s strength as a candidate.