Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) filed a complaint against Democratic challenger Antone Melton-Meaux, claiming that his campaign created LLCs to shield the identity of several consultants and donors. The DFL filed the complaint exactly one week before the upcoming primary on August 11.
The DFL’s complaint refers to the disclosure requirements outlined in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, citing emails from Milton-Meaux’s campaign and a MinnPost article as their main evidence. Three LLCs are named as Respondents.
A press release by the DFL quotes Party Chairman Ken Martin disavowing Melton-Meaux’s candidacy.
“The campaign of Ilhan Omar’s primary opponent has gone against the values of the DFL Party by apparently working with vendors to set up mysterious shell companies to hide millions of dollars in spending,” said Martin. “Not only did those shell companies appear to have failed to file taxes, but the campaign illegally failed to disclose where the money is going. It appears they are illegally paying campaign vendors off-the-books and admitting to it.”
Melton-Meaux responded to the filing in a press release Tuesday evening, calling the complaint “a frivolous and baseless claim.” The candidate included the testimony of retired FEC chairman Scott Thomas stating that the DFL’s complaint holds no weight.
“The complaint by the DFL would be rejected by the FEC because it lacks merit. LLCs are recognized legal entities under the law that provide liability protections, protect separate personal assets of those who form them, and provide bank privacy and tax benefits as well.”
Thomas also claimed that LLCs at issue are common to many candidates and party committee campaign finance reports.
“The LLCs receiving payments were legitimate entities, and the described purposes for the payments were accurate,” he said.
The DFC’s filing comes shortly after the FEC’s report that Melton-Meaux raised nearly seven times more than Omar in 2020’s second quarter.
The primary election is scheduled for next Tuesday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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