FEC rejects left-wing group’s complaint alleging GOP lawmaker violated campaign finance law

The Federal Election Commission, the main independent agency overseeing federal campaign finance law, has dismissed a complaint from a left-wing group accusing a Republican lawmaker of illegally transferring funds from his state campaign committee.

The FEC, in a decision posted on its website on Friday, said the regulator rejected an April 2023 complaint filed against Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) by End Citizens United, a political action committee supporting Democrats that accused other GOP members of similar violations. It was a unanimous 6-0 vote by the FEC, which wrote in a May letter to the PAC that the complaint was not a priority of the agency and pertained to a “low dollar amount.” The letter did not address the merits of the accusations.

LaLota, who was first elected to Congress last year, said in a statement that the complaint is poised to be one of “many unserious and partisan attacks” against him “from liberal dark money groups.” Jonas Edwards-Jenks, a spokesman for End Citizens United, said dismissal of the complaint is not “an exoneration.”

The complaint charged that LaLota made a prohibited $1,000 transfer, among others, from his state committee to his federal committee. An attorney for LaLota said in a 2023 letter to the FEC that the funds were a permissible contribution, not a transfer, from a nonfederal entity.

Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) speaks during a news conference after the House approved an annual defense bill on Friday, July 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

It is rare for the FEC to pursue complaints for transactions under $10,000. The dismissal comes months after the FEC also rejected a complaint from End Citizens United alleging that Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) unlawfully shuffled $2,000 from his state committee to his federal committee, according to a letter.

End Citizens United lodged similar campaign finance law accusations in a complaint against Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY). The FEC has not yet made public its decision in connection to the D’Esposito complaint, though a source familiar with the case said it will likely be closed soon.


“Progressives are realizing their failing agenda is deeply unpopular with the American people so now they are resorting to baseless partisan attacks against Congressman D’Esposito in an attempt to derail his winning campaign and frivolously waste resources,” Matthew Capp, a spokesman for D’Esposito, told the Washington Examiner.

An FEC spokesperson declined to comment, telling the Washington Examiner the agency can’t comment on complaints due to confidentiality requirements and agency policy.

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