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Jeb Bush: Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s Fundraising Role Model

Lopez-Cantera Delaying Official Announcement In Order To Raise Unlimited Money Into His Super PAC

Likely Florida Republican Senate candidate Carlos Lopez-Cantera has attracted attention for delaying the launch of his all-but-announced candidacy so that he can spend time raising unlimited money into a Super PAC that’s already been formed to prop up his candidacy. Sound familiar? Likely Presidential candidate Jeb Bush is using the same tactic and was grilled over the weekend by CBS’ Bob Schieffer aboutwhether the strategy was “violating the spirit of the law.”

But it’s no coincidence that the two Florida Republicans are actively manipulating the bounds of campaign finance laws.  Lopez-Cantera and Bush hired the same Washington-based campaign finance lawyer to set up their Super PACs.

“It’s no surprise that Carlos Lopez-Cantera is already flirting with the boundaries of campaign finance law even before he announces his candidacy for Senate,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “Lopez-Cantera knows that he will need his own personal Super PAC to prop up his candidacy, and it’s clear that he’s willing to push any legal boundary to boost his campaign.”

BACKGROUND

Bob Schieffer Questioned Jeb Bush Whether He Was, At Least, “Violating The Spirit Of The Law” By Raising Money For His Super PAC And Delaying His Announcement Of Candidacy. SCHIEFFER: “Governor, let’s talk a little bit about politics. It’s pretty obvious that you’re running for president. You’re going around the country. You’re raising huge amounts of money for your super PAC, in addition to making all the traditional campaign stops everywhere. Watchdog groups and some of your opponents are saying you’re really maybe violating campaign laws, and that the attorney general ought to be investigating, because they point out that you can’t raise money and coordinate strategy with these super PACs. And once you declare as a candidate, you can’t do that anymore. Do you think, in some way, you may be just at least violating the spirit of the law? Do you feel that you have violated the law here?” [CBS News, Face the Nation,5/31/15] (VIDEO)

  • At A Campaign Stop, Bush Inadvertently Said He Was Running For President, Which Would Have Meant Major Fundraising Restrictions For His President Campaign, But Then Corrected Himself. “Jeb Bush accidentally said he was running for president on Wednesday, a move that would trigger major restrictions on his fundraising, before quickly correcting himself. ‘I’m running for president in 2016 and the focus is going to be on how we – if I run – how we create high sustained economic growth where more people have a chance to earn success,’ the Republican told reporters in Nevada. It was a slip from Bush’s usual language, which typically refer to his plans if he goes ‘beyond the consideration’ and takes the plunge.” [MSNBC, 5/21/15]

National Journal: Lopez-Cantera “Adopted The Bush Model” Of Delaying Campaign Announcement To Allow For Time To Fundraise For And Coordinate With A Friendly Super PAC. “Jeb Bush’s plan to delay actually entering the 2016 election and instead spend time fundraising and coordinating directly with a friendly super PAC has revolutionized presidential campaign finance. And now, a likely Republican Senate candidate—also from Florida—has adopted the Bush model for his own race.  Allies of Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who told Florida Republican Party leaders over the weekend that he’s considering a Senate run, say he will wait to formally announce his candidacy until he’s had time to meet with prospective donors via a newly minted super PAC, Reform Washington, and a leadership PAC by the same name.” [National Journal, 5/19/15]

  • Attorney That Set Up Lopez-Cantera’s Super PAC, Who Also Set Up Bush’s Super PAC, Said Lopez-Cantera Would Be Involved In Meetings With Potential Donors To His Super PAC. “‘This is a model that’s uniquely advantageous for people who are not already federal office holders,’ said the committee’s attorney, Charlie Spies, a Washington-based campaign finance lawyer who also helped set up Bush’s Right to Rise committees. ‘For leaders or potential candidates that are considering whether to run, and will have the need for a substantial amount of resources to run, using the model of having both a leadership PAC and a super PAC … gives them the ability to get up to speed and hopefully have resources to support them if they decide to run.’ Spies said in the coming weeks Lopez-Cantera would be involved in meetings with potential donors for the Reform Washington groups, ‘gauging whether the resources are there to independently support him if he decides to run.’” [National Journal, 5/19/15]
  • National Journal: Lopez-Cantera’s Decision Allowed Him To “Solicit Unlimited Sums Of Money For A Committee That Would Support Him” And “Could Wind Up Spending More On Lopez-Cantera’s Behalf To Run TV Ads.” “Thus, like Bush, Lopez-Cantera could solicit unlimited sums of money for a committee that would support him in one of the country’s most expensive political races next year. Though his eventual campaign wouldn’t be allowed to coordinate with the super PAC, it’s possible the outside group could wind up spending more on Lopez-Cantera’s behalf to run TV ads in Florida’s many expensive media markets.” [National Journal, 5/19/15]

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