by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Two establishment-backed Democratic candidates face accusations of illegally coordinating with a liberal dark money group, according to ethics complaints. …
… VoteVets has spent tens of millions of dollars backing Democrats in key 2020 Senate races, including Cal Cunningham in North Carolina and M.J. Hegar in Texas. The dark money group spent over $7 million supporting the pair in February. The seven-figure ad blitz has helped Cunningham and Hegar secure their frontrunner status ahead of contested Super Tuesday primaries. The ad blitz also drew scrutiny from watchdogs who accuse Cunningham and Hegar of illegally coordinating with the dark money group in ethics complaints obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Campaign photos and videos released by Cunningham and Hegar were later used in VoteVets ads. The short turnaround suggests “coordination with an outside organization,” which is illegal under campaign finance law, according to the complaints, which will be filed on Tuesday.
Charges of wrongdoing are hardly new for VoteVets. In February, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) accused the group of “exploiting our broken campaign finance laws” through its support of former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg. Sen. Gary Peters (D., Mich.) was also accused of illegally coordinating with the group in December. The repeated allegations call into question VoteVets’ legitimacy as an organization, according to Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust executive director Kendra Arnold.