This morning, Politico published a detailed report exposing Josh Hawley’s top political consultant for years of skirting campaign finance laws to help funnel millions of dollars in funds from the National Rifle Association (NRA) into key battleground races. Politico reports that the firm run by Hawley’s primary campaign strategist and frequent campaign spokesman, Brad Todd, appears to have been using a shell organization called Starboard to illegally coordinate with the NRA on critical races. According to the report, “the NRA’s relationship with Starboard continues.”
This is not the first time Hawley has been closely associated with questionable campaign finance dealings. During his 2016 run for Attorney General, Hawley was faced with an ethics complaint for using two non-profits he founded to benefit his campaign. The complaint alleged that Hawley had set up two dark money non-profits — Missouri Forward Foundation and the Missouri Liberty Project — to be nothing more than “political committees that don’t have to disclose their donors.” As Attorney General, Hawley has turned a blind eye to former Governor Eric Greitens’ use of a similarly structured non-profit — which is currently under investigation by the Missouri Ethic Commission.
“Frankly it’s not surprising that, yet again, Josh Hawley’s campaign team is implicated in a campaign finance scandal,” said Missouri Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Brooke Goren. “From day one, Josh Hawley has been a supporter of dark money who will do whatever it takes to make his donors and political allies happy. The question is: will Hawley continue to associate with and accept help from Brad Todd, when he knows Todd may be intentionally violating campaign finance laws to help Hawley win?”
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