Campaign

Kemp campaign alleges Perdue team illegally coordinating with new fundraising committee

Associated Press/Elijah Nouvelage

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) campaign filed an ethics complaint on Monday alleging that the campaign of his chief Republican primary rival, former Sen. David Perdue (Ga.), illegally coordinated with a new fundraising committee. 

The complaint, filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, accuses the fundraising committee Georgia Values Fund of asking donors to provide cellphone numbers to receive Perdue campaign updates and news, as well as to send contributions directly to the former senator’s campaign. 

“In light of these facts, the Commission should take immediate action to investigate Perdue for Governor, Georgia Values Fund, and their agents, and take all appropriate action to halt such behavior and assess appropriate penalties under Georgia law,” the complaint reads. 

Under Georgia state law, independent committees such as Georgia Values Fund can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate, but are barred from directly coordinating their efforts with a candidate’s campaign.

In a statement, Cody Hall, a spokesperson for Kemp’s campaign, said that the alleged campaign finance violation is part of a pattern of unethical behavior by Perdue.

“From shady stock trades to blatant campaign finance law violations, David Perdue has a long history of breaking the rules to benefit himself,” Hall said. “The Perdue campaign’s actions are clearly against the law, and directly reflect the repeated lack of ethical conduct by Perdue himself.”

A spokesperson for Perdue’s campaign called the ethics complaint “laughable and desperate,” adding that because the former senator “is not associated with any state [political action committees],” his campaign “can’t speak to the independent activities of outside groups.”

The spokesperson suggested that it was Kemp who should be investigated over ethics violations, pointing to his use of a so-called leadership committee that can raise unlimited amounts of money, including during legislative sessions. Such committees were created last year under a new law signed by Kemp. Perdue’s campaign has filed a lawsuit challenging that law. 

“Using his power as the incumbent Governor, Kemp changed Georgia law in an attempt to rig this race in his favor,” the Perdue spokesperson said. “He gave himself a massive fundraising advantage and is able to fully coordinate with his so-called leadership committee that he chairs, while challengers like Perdue play by different rules.”

Kemp and Perdue have been locked in a bitter primary that will determine which Republican will go up against Stacey Abrams, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, in November. 

Perdue launched his campaign in December with the encouragement of former President Trump, who targeted Kemp for revenge after the Georgia governor refused to overturn Trump’s 2020 electoral loss in the Peach State. 

Tags 2022 election 2022 midterm election 2022 midterms Brian Kemp Campaign finance David Perdue Donald Trump Election 2022 ethics complaint Georgia Georgia governor's race Georgia politics Stacey Abrams

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