Kid Rock’s rumored run for the Senate is one of those items that just seems too odd to be real. But with Donald Trump in The White House, anything seems possible and some groups are pushing to make it a reality with the Michigan rock and roll star. Nothing is official yet, but he is selling t-shirts, signs, and seems to already be gaining support for his prospective run.
And while this all seems fine and dandy given what we’re seeing throughout politics, especially with Trump already holding campaign rallies for 2020, one watchdog group is calling out Kid Rock for possible campaign finance violations. According to Common Cause, a “nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy,” claims that Rock may be breaking “candidate registration and reporting requirements” and filed a complaint to the Department of Justice:
“Regardless of whether Kid Rock says he’s only exploring candidacy, he’s selling ‘Kid Rock for Senate’ merchandise and is a candidate under the law. This is campaign finance law 101,” said Paul S. Ryan, Common Cause’s vice president for policy and litigation. “Given the activities we’ve documented in the complaint, he can’t reasonably claim to be merely testing the waters of candidacy and thus exempt from candidate filing requirements. He is a candidate and is obligated to abide by all the rules and make the same disclosures required of everyone else running for federal office.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, the accusations by Common Cause say that Rock — real name Robert James Richie — broke the Federal Election Campaign Act by essentially campaigning all summer without registering and wants the DoJ to investigate. As the filing points out, the FECA labels a person a “candidate” after they receive $5,000 in contributions regardless of their stated intent. The AV Club adds that there are exceptions for people “testing the waters,” but Kid Rock’s summer-long push might have him on the wrong side here.
Rock didn’t just take the accusations quietly, of course. He responded with an official press release on his website that truly captures why his Senate run might actually be successful:
I am starting to see reports from the misinformed press and the fake news on how I am in violation of breaking campaign law.
#1 I have still not officially announced my candidacy.
#2 See #1 and go f*ck yourselves.