Politicians, be warned: it’s still against the law for you to solicit big checks from donors for super PACs.
Just ask Aaron Schock — the one-time Republican rising star who resigned from Congress last year after his “Downton Abbey”-themed office makeover led to a barrage of questions about whether he was misusing public money.
New documents show that Schock recently agreed to pay a $10,000 fine for making an excessive solicitation for a super PAC that was active in his home state of Illinois four years ago.
The super PAC, known as the Campaign for Primary Accountability, had caught Schock’s eye during the heated 2012 GOP primary between Reps. Don Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger, who Schock supported and who ultimately prevailed.
At the time, Schock told Roll Call that he wanted “to do everything I could to help the Kinzinger campaign.” That included reaching out to the Campaign for Primary Accountability and steering funds into its coffers.
All super PACs are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals, corporations and labor unions. But federal candidates and officeholders are prohibited from soliciting more than $5,000 for these political action committees, which are also barred from coordinating their spending with candidates.
Yet Schock told Roll Call in 2012 that he had asked then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, to “match” $25,000 that Schock would provide for the super PAC’s television assault against Manzullo.