FEC Complaint Filed Against Rep. Paul Ryan Alleging Improper Use of Congressional Campaign Funds

Progressive advocacy group One Wisconsin Now has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging U.S. Representative and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has improperly used his Congressional campaign funds to promote the GOP presidential ticket.

Rep. Ryan has purchased $2 million in ads from his Congressional campaign account, but none of the five ads specifically mention he is running for Congress. One Wisconsin Now alleges the ads promote Ryan's Vice-Presidential candidacy rather than his Congressional reelection.

"Wisconsin is widely considered to be a key swing state in the presidential election, and many pundits and political observers viewed the selection of Ryan as an attempt to boost the GOP campaign here. I don't think they had in mind Ryan would possibly violate federal campaign finance laws to do it," One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said in a press release.

The group alleges Rep. Ryan violated FEC rules prohibiting the transfer of funds between separate campaign accounts when a candidate is simultaneously running for more than one office.

"It's perfectly legal for Paul Ryan to run for Congress and Vice-President at the same time," Ross says. "But he crosses a legal line if, as it appears with his television ads, he uses congressional campaign funds to promote his run on the GOP presidential ticket."

According to One Wisconsin Now's letter filed with the FEC on October 10, the $2 million ad buy is roughly twice as much as the Ryan campaign spent on its most expensive race over the past decade, and the campaign is making this buy despite the district having been made even more "safe" after redistricting and polls showing Ryan holding a 25 point (58-33) advantage over his Democratic challenger Rob Zerban.

A copy of the letter sent to the FEC on October 10 can be accessed here.


I'm in Milwaukee, and I'm pretty sure some of those "congressional" ads are running here as well. FYI, Milwaukee and Janesville have completely different media markets. It would make as much sense for Gwen Moore to run an add over in Janesville, by which I mean it would make no damn sense.

It may be legal but it is also a conflict of interest. How can a conflict of interest so obvious be accepted. It only shows the corruption in the republican ticket to win this election. Is this the way these public servants want to win? This is bad karma and what does not come out in the wash comes out in the rinse...

With their best-of-intentions (I'm looking hard for some positive, just to be 'fair'), still the Romney campaign just keeps moving from their sublime to our ridiculous (okay, I've stopped looking so hard now). For whatever reason I'm getting these mixed mental images -- the Keystone Cops on one hand, and the patchwork robots encountered on HBO's "Crashbox" on the other... Remember Rush Limbaugh's pronouncement: "Romney, the best thing he can do is remember this election isn't about him. He may as well be Elmer Fudd as far as we're concerned. We're voting against Obama." Well, it appears "Elmer" has surfaced a "slightly bewildered" sidekick. And I think we can legitimately say, about his whole last week or so, "boy, THAT's gonna leave a mark!" (I would assume, Vice President Biden, you brought along a sufficiency of toothpicks?)