Larry Elder plans to sue RNC over debate rules, gifts for $1 donations
“It is designed, in my opinion, to make sure that Ron DeSantis is the nominee. Anybody other than Trump. This is BS. I will see you in Milwaukee,” Elder said in a video he posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Republican presidential candidate Larry Elder is threatening to file an FEC complaint against the Republican National Committee and Fox News for violation of debate rules and illegal
campaign contributions if they don’t let him take part in Wednesday night’s debate in Milwaukee. Elder said he met all the requirements for entry – 1% support in three polls and 40,000 unique donors.
But according to Elder, the RNC rejected a Rasmussen poll because it cannot be affiliated with any candidate, which in this case was Donald Trump. Rasmussen denies they ran a poll for Donald Trump or any of his surrogates. Regardless, Elder said he wasn’t informed of that specific rule until it was too late.
So now, Elder is raising concern about some of the fundraising methods candidates used to get 40,000 individuals to make a donation.
“One of the candidates by the way offered a $20 gift certificate for a $1 donation. That apparently is okay. Another one offered a free air quotes country western concert for a $1 donation. That apparently is okay. Another one offered a commission to prospective donors to get other prospective donors. That apparently is okay. But I did it the old fashioned way by getting people to support me by going to LarryElder.com,” Elder said in a video posted to X, formerly Twitter.
Here are a few of the ways candidates solicited donations:
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who did not qualify, offered anyone who donated $1 a chance to win two front-row tickets to Lionel Messi’s first Inter-Miami game. Top tickets to that game were going for more than $6,800 a piece on the secondary market.
“And it’s important because I’m not going to get on the debate stage, I’m not going to keep having this conversation unless I have your support in the form of that contribution. And by the way we are doing some gimmicks like a lot of other candidacies,” Saurez said during the Turning Point Action Conference in July.
Pharmaceutical Executive Vivek Ramaswamy started what he called “Vivek’s Kitchen Cabinet”, which let people who raise money for him keep 10%.
“You know if somebody in some cloistered corner office is going to make 10% of the money they would raise for me or other candidates, it might as well be you. Let’s decentralize that,” Ramaswamy said in his announcement.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson did something similar, he offered $20 gift cards to college students for every friend or family member they could get to donate $1. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum also offered $20 for $1 donations, he called them “Biden economic relief cards” to help people hurting from President Biden’s economy.
But even if Elder and others criticized how they made the money, Ramaswamy, Hutchinson and Burgum all qualified because there weren’t any specific prohibitions on how to reach the donor threshold.