Did Madison Cawthorn Get Caught Groping Campaign Finance Regulations? Or Was It Just Horseplay?
Before Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn exits stage right for whatever grifty adventures await him, Your Wonkette would like to LOL at him once more, for old time's sake. Because Congressman Boy Band appears to have gotten himself into another wee fucktussle, only this time it wasn't with his cousin slash aide.
The Daily Beast's Roger Sollenberger, who owns the campaign finance beat, noticed that Cawthorn's quarterly Federal Election Commission (FEC) report wasn't submitted a week ago. So he went looking for an explanation, and boy howdy, did he ever find one! According to Sollenberger's sources on Team Cawthorn, the toddler congressman has been spending money so fast that he was forced to dip into funds donated for his general election campaign. Which is very, very uncool, bro.
See, the current campaign finance limit is $2,900 per election. That is, donors can pony up $2,900 for the primary, and $2,900 for the general, for a grand total of $5,800. But those funds have to be segregated, and you can't dip into general election contributions until you're officially the nominee.
“There are few more ironclad rules in campaign finance than you can’t spend general election funds in a primary,” Jordan Libowitz, communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) told the Daily Beast. “There are strict limits on how much may be given and spent in each. If Cawthorn spent funds raised for the general during the primary and made no attempt to refund the general donations, he’ll likely be in a lot of trouble with the FEC.”
Maybe they could have fudged the books some sort of (illegal) way — it's not like the FEC works anymore, right? — except that Cawthorn didn't win his primary. His crafty plan to alienate his entire party at the state and federal level, losing the endorsement of his state's two Republican senators along the way, backfired bigly. And once you're definitively not a candidate, it makes it a whole lot harder to raise money.
That's a problem, because the Boy Wonder had an astronomically high burn rate, and his campaign bank account is deep in the red, according to Sollenberger's source, who says the campaign ran out of cash and started tapping general election funds months ago.
This person pointed to a spree of frivolous charges over the last year that all accelerated into 2022, such as $1,500 in “egregiously” frequent trips to Chick-Fil-A, almost $3,000 at a place called Papa’s Beer, three separate charges at a high-end cigar shop, $21,000 for lodging in Florida and—the biggest drain—hundreds of thousands of dollars in sky-high consulting and fundraising fees, including for Cawthorn’s friend and campaign manager, Blake Harp, who was drawing a salary beyond federal limits.
How the hell do you spend $1,500 at Chick-Fil-A?
And more to the point, did this dumbass not think the bill was going to come due? Because if you lose the primary, you have to return the money, which means he's gotta dip into his own pocket, or get it from his campaign treasurer, who noped out last Friday, the same day that FEC report was due. Prolly a coincidence, right?
Or he could always hit up the rubes to get more cash to
retire his campaign debt boost Dark MAGA American patriots!
LOL, good luck, kid. Catch you at the next Turning Point USA Dumb As We Wanna Be Hootenanny.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.