Republican Senator Mike Braun’s 2018 campaign has been accused of breaking campaign finance laws by accepting millions of dollars of improper loans.
IndyStar reports that Braun’s campaign is arguing in response to a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) memorandum and draft audit, that all loan contributions were legal. Democrats have accused Braun of stealing the Senate seat from Democrat incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly.
Braun’s victory in the 2018 Indiana Senate race was partly due to him self-financing his campaign. The FEC became suspicious because it appeared that Braun had accepted blank loans that did not require collateral. In the report, FEC auditors also accused the campaign of accepting over $1.7 million worth of contribution that surpassed the legal limits.
The report sent to the FEC Comissioners for review was only a draft and is missing information that was submitted later, says Joshua Kelley, who is Braun’s Chief of Staff and senior political advisor. “Sometimes these FEC audits require time to work themselves out; that has been the case here, and we’re not the least bit concerned about how the process will end.”
The FEC auditors have said that it appears Braun received prohibited loans totaling nearly $8.5 million. Braun’s campaign argues that many credible individuals are able to get unsecured lines of credit. There were also several clerical issues discovered, which the campaign blamed on the former treasurer, who quit and is not communicating with the team.
Plenty of Democrats have spoken out against Braun in response to the FEC audit. The FEC commission now faces the task of deciding if Braun’s campaign will have consequences.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: INDY STAR
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