Elizabeth Warren really wants the world to know she is not running for president in 2016. She has now put that message into writing, formally disavowing the Ready For Warren Super PAC, which has been raising money for her non-existent presidential run.
Elizabeth Warren’s lawyer, Marc E. Elias, wrote to the Federal Election Commission saying,
“This letter serves as a formal disavowal of the organization and its activity. The senator has not, and does not, explicitly or implicitly, authorize, endorse or otherwise approve of the organization’s activities.”
Elias added that Elizabeth Warren has already said she is not running for president in 2016 and urged her supporters to direct their attention and donations to the mid-term Senate races later in 2014.
That message might not be enough to dissuade Ready For Warren, which replied to the statement from Elias and Warren saying in a statement:
“We will continue full steam ahead with our campaign to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016, because we believe she is the best person for the job.”
Despite the conflicting objectives, there is nothing illegal about a Super PAC being formed to support a person who is not actually running for public office. Likewise, according to the Boston Globe, there is no obligation for Elizabeth Warren to file a letter to the Federal Election Commission to formally disavow the group.
According to the FEC, Super PACs, also known as “independent-expenditure only committees,” cannot coordinate with candidates or political parties. And Ready For Warren has blatantly proven that they are not coordinating with Senator Warren.
There might be one area where the Super PAC is running afoul of the law because the name of the committee is using the name “Warren” in the title. According to Paul S. Ryan senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center:
“There’s a long-standing law on the books that says it’s illegal for a non-candidate committee to use a federal candidate’s name in that committee.”
However, the Super PAC, Ready For Hillary, has not come under the same scrutiny. Then again, Ready For Hillary has not been publicly disavowed by Hillary Clinton.
The Super PAC’s founder Erica Sagrans has not revealed how much money the group has raised for the hypothetical campaign, but the committee has gathered a large number volunteers.
With Super PAC’s having no legal obligation to divulge financial information, the question remains, if Elizabeth Warren doesn’t run, where will that wasted money go?
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]