Mitt Romney’s now-defunct 2012 presidential campaign account, along with the national Republican Party, are still holding on to more than $140,000 in illegal campaign contributions discovered years ago.
The illegal donations have nothing to do with Romney’s current U.S. Senate campaign in Utah.
Bloomberg Government reports the money came from a healthcare company that donated to Romney using “straw donor” contributions, funneling campaign money from the company through individual donors. The company, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, sent a letter to a lawyer for Romney’s defunct campaign instructing them to give up the money per FEC rules.
Easier said than done. Bloomberg reports the money was moved through a now disbanded joint fundraising committee that was terminated a few months before the company informed the campaign to get rid of the illegal monies. The money was passed to the Romney presidential campaign, the Republican National Committee and several state Republican Party organizations. An order to get rid of the illegal donations has not yet come from the Federal Election Commission.
FEC documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that CTCA sent disgorgement request letters last August to 35 campaign committees.
The letters told the committees they should shed illegal contributions that together totaled more than $605,000. In response, 15 committees immediately turned over more than $265,000, according to documents posted on the FEC website.
The campaign committees of Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) made the largest disgorgements of illegal CTCA contributions: $60,000 for Hatch and $54,000 for Flake.
Two committees — the RNC and the campaign of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — followed up later with disgorgements totaling $2,010.
The rest are supposed to disgorge about $340,000 in illegal CTCA money. Some of the recipients, though, lost their elections so their campaigns are dormant.