The super PAC that backed Jeb Bush’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has been hit with a $390,000 penalty by the Federal Election Commission for admitting a $1.3 million illegal foreign contribution from a Chinese busines. The corporation was fined $550,000.
The mixed penalties are the largest ever imposed for expedition contributions by foreign nationals, said here Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog group. A complaint filed by the group provoked an investigation by the FEC that resulted in the penalties.
The action is a “rare and impressive gradation by the FEC, and a remember that safeguarding our polls against foreign intervention is in America’s vital national security interests, ” said CLC’s president, Trevor Potter, a former Republican chairman of the FEC. “This illegal $ 1.3 million contribution is unmistakable proof that Citizens United opened the floodgates” to hidden foreign money in U.S. campaigns, and it is “surely the tip of the iceberg, ” he informed in a statement.
The Right to Rise super PAC canvassed its own contribution in 2016 from American Pacific International Capital, a California corporation owned by Chinese citizens, according to the CLC complaint. Bush’s brother Neil Bush was on the company committee. The subject of the donations was first broached by Neil Bush, according to a conciliation agreement concerning the FEC penalties, according to Mother Jones magazine, which first reported the penalties.
The CLC registered an FEC complaint following a 2016 article in the Intercept about the brazen-faced APIC contribution. The donation was intended to “influence in some manner good or bad policies” and to “create a better environment” for doing business, a company spokesman told the Intercept.
Corporations offer an easy cover for foreign actors to “influence elections, typically without spotting, ” CLC’s Brendan Fischer said.
APIC spokesman Mark Irion told Mother Jones that the company is “agreeing to a very large penalty and remains committed to complying with all expedition finance laws and regulations.”
Neil Bush said he had done nothing wrong.