Citizens United calls on FEC to close “loophole” after Bloomberg sends $18M to DNC

The means in which billionaire Mike Blomoberg transferred over $18 million from his Presidential campaign to the DNC is being challenged by conservative nonprofit Citizens United.

Fox News reports Citizens United is calling on the Federal Election Commission to end what it calls a campaign finance “loophole” after Mike Bloomberg transferred more than $18 million from his now-suspended, self-funded presidential campaign to the Democratic National Committee.

Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit famous for its role in actually loosening campaign finance restrictions, filed a petition with the FEC this week. The filing, exclusively obtained by Fox News, pushes to limit the amount that a federal candidate may transfer to a committee of a national political party in order to prevent a self-funded candidate, like Bloomberg, from transferring what are essentially personal funds in amounts that otherwise exceed annual limits.

The petition states that “since 1980, the Federal Elections Campaign Act has allowed candidates for federal office to transfer surplus funds to their official campaign accounts to national, State or local party committees without limitation.”

But the filing notes that, historically, such transfers were largely composed of contributions made within normal limits from a combination of individuals, political action committees and parties.

“Last month, however, a major loophole came to light,” the petition reads.

That’s a reference to Bloomberg’s transfer of $18 million of “surplus” campaign funds to the DNC. The billionaire and former New York City mayor announced the transfer shortly after suspending his presidential campaign.

“Those funds, however, were not made up of contributions from sources subject to FECA’s contribution limits, but were instead derived from the candidate’s personal funds, which are not subject to any contribution limits,” Citizens United says in the petition. “While Bloomberg’s transfer may fall within the letter of the regulation governing transfers of candidate funds to national political party committees, it certainly does not fall within the spirit of the law.”

Citizens United adds that “the Bloomberg transfer appears to be the first time that a candidate has transferred funds derived entirely from his or her personal funds in an amount that far exceeds the amounts that the candidate could directly contribute to a national party committee.”

Under current FEC rules, Bloomberg’s maximum contribution to any committee of a party during the 2019-2020 calendar year would have been $35,000.