Romney hit with complaint
April 29th, 2011
12:43 PM ET
9 years ago

Romney hit with complaint

Washington (CNN) - The New Hampshire Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission Friday against potential 2012 candidate Mitt Romney, raising questions about how the former Massachusetts governor is using money raised through his state political action committees to aid his probable bid for the White House.

Romney's federal and state-level PACs have raised $1.9 million through the end of March. Though these funds may not be used toward a presidential bid, the complaint alleges that the Romney campaign is using these committees to circumvent federal contribution limits, which caps the maximum individual contribution at $5,000 for both the primary and general election seasons. Money raised through the committees may only be spent ahead of a candidate's official presidential announcement.

The complaint, dismissed by Romney's camp, accuses him of using "soft money," or unlimited donations to political parties from labor unions, corporations or individuals, banned, to fund his presidential campaign, which federal law prohibits. Some of the states in which Romney has PACs, do not place a cap on donations from corporations.

Democrats in the Granite State, which serves an important role as the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, are criticizing the Romney operation as an "Enron-style accounting scheme," and asking that if found in violation of any laws, he be "enjoined from further violations and be fined the maximum amount."

"Romney's funneling of campaign contributions from his array of state political action committees to fund his presidential campaign reeks of an Enron-style accounting scheme," Communications Director for the New Hampshire Democratic Holly Shulman said in a statement. "Mitt Romney just wants to be President – plain and simple – and he'll take any position, say anything or do anything to get there."

But Team Romney dismissed the charges as a political tool.

"This is totally political," Romney communications adviser Andrea Saul said. "For those wondering what the Obama jobs plan entails, it apparently involves hiring more lawyers at the FEC to handle frivolous complaints filed by his minions."

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Robert Yoon contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    If Steinhauser's left ear sticks out, it's because he has moved to the far right fringe nuts so fast it almost left that ear behind. Don't believe he says a word of truth. NOT A REPUTABLE JOURNALIST

    April 29, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Let the juvenile Democrat games begin! I think Romney has been around the block a few times with this stuff and knows the rules. I guess they think Romney is their biggest threat and I would have to agree. Obama can only dream of being as competent.

    April 29, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    This would be devastating to the GOP, if found to be true. We need facts, not innuendos.

    April 29, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. cf

    Romney is sure spending a lot of money to keep his birth certificate secret. I wonder what he has to hide.

    April 29, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Audit!

    Keep 'em honest! Every candidates' contributions should be gone over with a fine tooth comb and made availabe for all Americans to see.

    April 29, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Name Creole

    Let Knock them off 1 By 1 Obama 2012

    April 29, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. A. Burns

    The Democrats are already worried about Romney. They thought stoking the Mass healthcare would cause the right to turn on Romney and kill his candidacy, so they thanked Romney for his contributions and praised him. Now people realize that the Mass plan was actually good for Mass, and it was Obama who failed by thinking that he could add ten thousand pages, change a few things, and impose it on the entire nation. Now the Democrats, noticing that Romney beats Obama in the latest polls, are trying to attack Romney for doing something completely legal. Since people don't understand the rules very well, Obama's peeps think they just need to raise a controversy. The problem is that the Republicans don't care about this one at all, and it won't affect Romney in the primaries. Plus, this will be old news, settled in Romney's favor before the actual election.

    Lame, Democrats. Lame.

    April 29, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. rusty155

    All republican are crook. They steal from the POOR and OLD and give to the RICH. That go for the Tea Party too.

    April 29, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Ed

    Where's there's smoke there's fire.

    April 29, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. david

    no real surprise here for a party(Republican) thats is 23 million in the hole...they cant even spend their donors funds wisely why should i trust them with mine??? NEVER!!!

    April 29, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. david

    good ole' mitt still trying to con his way out...sorry will winess just how mean your republican brethren are...very shortly...

    April 29, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. dentalflstyc

    I'm shocked, shocked to find campaign funding irregularities going on here.

    April 29, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. allen's

    maybe trump and sheen should get togeather and run for president and v.p. think of all the attention they would get!

    April 29, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. jason

    instead of admitting anything, find a way to imply someone else is at fault for calling it into question? That's the republican way, i guess...

    April 29, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. diridi

    Every thing is fair in Love and War.....??????

    April 29, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Steve, New York City

    Ahhh – so "Wally Cleaver" does have an immoral side after all. Hopefully this is not true, Mr. Romney.

    Of course, I'd pick Romney MILES AHEAD of the loud-mouthed Mr. Hair Weave (who ranted on and on, championing the racist birther movement) – if Trump wants documentation about Obama's college grades, maybe Trump could submit some documentation of his own (but best for the country if he just goes back to the carnival of Reality TV).

    April 29, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Money raised through the committees may only be spent ahead of a candidate's official presidential announcement."

    Interesting tidbit that. Wasn't aware of it before. Now we all know why they're dragging their feet on "announcing" their candidacy and carrying on the coy little farce of pretending that they're not yet running for POTUS.

    By the way, CNN, why didn't you report that between 2009 and 2010, Romney has received a total of $1.5M from just his top 38 donors and that is one of the major pieces of evidence supoprting this claim that he's slush-funding his run by misusing the PAC device? I mean, shouldn't that be like the first sentence? Or are you trying to make both sides seem equal here so people can go on delusionally believing that this complaint is somehow baseless? Geesh....our Tea-abled friends on the Ticker keep reminding us that you're ever so "liberal" and trying to help should bother proving them right once in a while so they can stop looking stupid.

    April 29, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Good. We all know he is a shady character with NO character. I'm sure it's dirty money handling. What a loser this guy is.

    April 29, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. NoGOP12

    Trump is a GOP diversion. He has no intentions of running for president, he wants to make sure the GOP wins in 12 so they can rob and steal more from us. His purpose is to say all the things all the of the other GOP candidates want to say but know if they do they’ll come off as racist and too extreme, thus alienating the independent voters. By acting like this Trump is making sure someone like Romney looks MODERATE and independents will think “at least he’s not a lunatic like Trump”. Make no mistake this is all very calculated. The Corporations in this country are doing everything possible to make sure they can take the rest from the middle class. ENOUGH OF THE DIVERSION, TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES IF YOU ACTUALLY HAVE ANY IDEAS!

    April 29, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. LovesIrony

    "This is totally political," Romney communications adviser Andrea Saul said. "For those wondering what the Obama jobs plan entails, it apparently involves hiring more lawyers at the FEC to handle frivolous complaints filed by his minions."
    OH how snarky you are. Pat yourself on your back their Andrea. You think unemployment is funny? Everything you clowns on both sides do is political.. Everything!

    April 29, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Dave

    I'm sure Romney is following the law here. In contrast, I have 100% reservations about electing President Obama to a second term. If anyone follows politics, they can easily see that his record is one of failed promises and lack of success.

    April 29, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. Lynne

    Please notice that Andrea Saul never said...we didn't do anything wrong! She just started accusing the other guy of wrong doing. Smoke and mirrors...sneaky sneaky! Who's playing politics now!!! Address the complaint, don't deflect!!!

    April 29, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Romney communications adviser Andrea Saul said, "For those wondering what the Obama jobs plan entails, it apparently involves hiring more lawyers at the FEC to handle frivolous complaints filed by his minions."

    That is the most aggressive thing that I have ever heard come out of Romney/ But still, he didn't actually say it, either.

    April 29, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney's argument is weak and cannot be supported by words, prove it.

    April 29, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. sammieb51

    Oh and let the fun begin .... its about time the GOP was called on the carpet for the way they manage their PACs!!

    April 29, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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