The New Hampshire Democratic Party is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that likely Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney may be illegally funneling unlimited corporate donations into his campaign apparatus.
Questions about the fundraising practices of Romney, a 2008 presidential candidate and a former Massachusetts governor, have been circulating for several months. But the Granite State Democratic Party becomes the first to file a formal complaint suggesting that he violated federal law.
“Romney’s funneling of campaign contributions from his array of state political action committees to fund his presidential campaign reeks of an Enron-style accounting scheme,” Holly Shulman, spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said in a statement. “Mitt Romney just wants to be president — plain and simple — and he’ll take any position, say anything or do anything to get there.”
Specifically, the complaint alleges that Romney is using a network of loosely regulated state political action committees to avoid traditional federal fundraising limits. Some individual donors, for example, donated tens of thousands of dollars to Romney-related PACs in recent years, even though the annual individual limit was just $2,400.
Key questions include the legal interpretation of when Romney formally becomes a presidential candidate. He has yet to announce his plans for 2012, for example, but he is widely expected to run.
The complaint will be filed with the FEC on Friday morning, according to the state party.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment left late Thursday night. It’s unlikely the complaint will have much of an effect on Romney, who is a 2012 GOP frontrunner. Such filings are common in campaigns and rarely have a significant effect on a race.