A Florida man has so far this month created more than 350 political groups — including hundreds of federal super PACs that claim to represent interests ranging from racquetball to the petroleum industry.
And no, the super PACs’ creator is not a seasoned campaign fundraiser. Nor is he a billionaire primed to dole out cash to his favored presidential candidates.
He’s “Josh Larose,” usually known to exasperated election regulators as Josue Larose, and by any name, a political fetishist quite unlike any other.
His obsession: super PACs. Since 2010, Larose has registered hundreds upon hundreds of these and other political groups under his name.
Although super PACs may legally raise and spend unlimited money, almost none of Larose’s groups ever generate a dime.
This contrasts with super PAC fundraising machines such as Right to Rise USA, which supports Republican presidential candidate and fellow Floridian Jeb Bush. The pro-Bush group has spent more than $43.6 million on ads so far this year.
“It’s hard to understand why he does this,” Larry Noble, general counsel for Campaign Legal Center and a former Federal Election Commission general counsel, said of Larose.
If Larose has a reason, he isn’t saying: He hung up when the Center for Public Integrity called for comment.
Larose’s chronic super PAC creating has long dumbfounded federal and state election regulators alike. He registers super PACs, forms political parties and even runs for political office. But his actions come to a halt once he files the required paperwork.
And more, it creates headaches for the federal and state commissions charged with regulating campaign finance.
The Florida Elections Commission in 2014 found Larose, who lives in Deerfield, Fla., in violation of 2,052 counts of election law. The charge: dishonestly filling out campaign finance reports.
While leading 331 political committees in Florida and running to be the Sunshine State’s governor in 2010, Larose falsely reported receiving millions of dollars from nonexistent donors, according to records from the Florida Elections Commission.
Among Larose’s other claims: Florida Division of Elections employees attempted to elicit a $10,000 bribe from him.
Larose owes more than $513,000 in fines for his election violations. The Florida Elections Commission declined comment.