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Indiana Democratic Party files ethics complaint against Rep. Braun for breaking campaign finance laws

Rep. Braun hid $250K in additional loans at pivotal moment in primary and deprived Hoosiers of crucial financial information

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party filed a complaint today against Rep. Braun and his campaign for hiding $250,000 in additional loans in the final days of the GOP Senate primary and alleging that he broke the law by failing to file all of his loans with the FEC, the latest in a string of lies and illegal moves related to his fundraising.

In a complaint sent to the FEC today, IDP Chairman John Zody alleged that Rep. Braun broke campaign finance laws by failing to file a legally required 48-hour notice report after loaning his campaign an additional $250,000 on April 23, two weeks before the contentious GOP Senate primary election. By law, campaigns are required to report any campaign contributions to the FEC made within twenty days of an election in a 48-hour window after that contribution is made. Rep. Braun included the loan on his second-quarter FEC report in July, but he failed to file the legally required 48-hour notice, even though he filed such a report for a separate six-figure loan made the same day.

Rep. Braun’s illegally-conducted loan wasn’t only against the law, but was another self-serving strategy that hid his funds from his challengers in an effort to give himself an unfair advantage. Had Congressmen Messer or Rokita known about Rep. Braun’s unreported additional quarter-million dollars in his campaign account right before the primary, they might have altered their plans accordingly.

Today’s complaint comes on the heels of repeated criticism in recent weeks for Rep. Braun’s unethical – if not illegal – fundraising efforts. The Indy Star reported last month that he lied to Hoosiers both about the amount of money he raised last quarter and his repeated claims that he would not self-fund in the general election. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported that his campaign may have broken campaign finance laws by potentially pumping debt retirement money back into his campaign in what one expert referred to as “a legal form of money laundering.”

“Rep. Braun seems to have no regard for the rule of law or anything that prevents him from extracting every last ounce of benefit for himself from a situation. It’s not enough to dump a last minute infusion of cash into his campaign funded by selling Chinese auto parts — he had to illegally hide it from his opponents and Hoosiers,” said John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Rep. Braun filed a 48-hour notice the same day as his illegal contribution, so this is no rookie mistake. It’s simply that he doesn’t believe legal or moral rules apply to him so long as he benefits.”

To view the complaint, click HERE.

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