RI GOP Files Complaint Against Raimondo With Federal Elections Commission

Mar 8, 2018

RI GOP Chairman Brandon Bell.
Credit Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The Rhode Island Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission over a fundraising agreement between Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Providence Democratic City Committee.

"The Raimondo-Ward agreement does not satisfy the requirements for engaging in a federal joint fundraising activity," RI GOP Chairman Brandon Bell said in a statement, referring to Patrick Ward, the former chairman of the Providence Democratic City Committee. "For example, it did not establish a fundraising representative either by establishing a separate political committee to serve as the joint fundraising committee or by selecting an additional participating committee registered with the FEC. Also, it did not state an allocation formula providing the amount of percentage of each contribution received would be distributed to each participant. The federal requirements for joint fundraising activity apply to all committees even if they are not registered with the FEC."

Raimondo's deputy campaign manager, David Ortiz, offered this response: "Once again, the Republicans have filed a frivolous complaint in a cynical attempt to distract voters from their failed leadership and deeply unpopular positions on issues that matter to Rhode Islanders. Under this nutty argument, the Republican Party of Rhode Island is failing to comply with the same bogus rule they are claiming the Democrats are violating."

A lawyer for Raimondo's campaign has maintained that the agreement criticized by Bell is legal and common in politics.

The state Ethics Commission last month dismissed a GOP complaint filed against Raimondo involving the same agreement between the governor and the Providence Democratic City Committee.

Raimondo's campaign released a copy of the agreement after it attracted criticism.