Although the two camps disagree on who would be the better candidate to replace incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, the political campaigns for both Congressmen Luke Messer and Todd Rokita are dismissing a complaint being filed against both of them with the Federal Election Commission.
The American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) is filing complaints about FEC violations against Rokita and Messer accusing them of illegally campaigning for Senate. Neither Messer nor Rokita has officially declared they are running for the post.
The ADLF says neither of them has registered as a candidate, and both have publicly discussed their Senate candidacies and fundraised far beyond the $5,000 limit allowed before registering.
The complaint also alleges back in March the FEC sent Rokita a letter giving him 35 days to declare that he is either not a candidate, or to file a Statement of Candidacy, but failed to do so, but still, continues to fundraise and talk about his candidacy.
It says Messer included a list of “Individuals Supporting Messer for United States Senate” in a press release he sent out and his deputy campaign manager said “we look forward to welcoming additional members to the team who are committed to supporting Luke Messer for the United States Senate,” but he has not filed as a candidate for Senate.
“Luke Messer and Todd Rokita are both knowingly violating federal election law,” said Brad Woodhouse of ADLF. “They’ve made it clear that they’re running for Senate and they should register as candidates immediately so that Indiana voters get the transparency in this election that they deserve.”
A Messer campaign spokesman told Indy Politics, “I am not aware of any issues. We have received no notice from the FEC.”
Rokita campaign manager Tim Edison had stronger language, “These clowns have been shopping this nonsense for weeks. Todd has made no final decision on running for Senate. He has consistently said he is considering it but is not currently a candidate. People still have freedom of speech in this country and criticizing Donnelly’s record of rubber stamping things like Obama’s failed stimulus, ObamaCare, the Iran deal, taxpayer funded abortion and Obama’s gun grabs don’t make someone a Senate candidate. Joe Donnelly is already getting desperate, and this sleazy leftist Washington group funded by liberal billionaires is launching baseless attacks on Joe Donnelly’s orders.”