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Ron DeSantis has raised over $ 100 million in reelection bids. Can he spend the money in the presidential election?

Kappel believes that FEC's omissions against Donald could give DeSantis a blueprint for how to raise money for a future presidential election while running for governor. I am.

Every time the FEC gets stuck in one of these innovative financial structures, it's a big neon sign saying, "Do this. You can escape with it." "Kappel said.

Publicly, DeSantis dismissed his question about his future political ambitions. DeSantis recently said he liked when asked by Fox&Friends whether to run a campaign against former President Donald Trump

. .. Turn the massive war treasure chests that DeSantis has collected for the reelection race into money that can be used for federal campaigns, sources with knowledge of those conversations told CNN.

"It can be done," sources said.

As DeSantis gains momentum to run for president soon next year, he collects donations from every corner of the Republican Party, from the wealthiest donors in each state to the daily watchers of Fox News. He's only from Trump's biggest funders, including Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, Republican strong supporters Richard and Elizabeth Willin, and retired venture capitalist William Buckley. Not only that, but we also receive millions of donations from mega-donors who have never financially supported Trump, such as Ken. Millionaire Griffin recently announced that he will move investment company Citadel from Chicago to Miami.

A Republican fundraiser in Florida said DeSantis expects to raise about $ 200 million in this cycle and less than half of that would be needed for a reelection campaign. This leaves DeSantis with at least $ 100 million in seed money in Super PAC to support White House bids, giving it an economically favorable start that is currently comparable to Trump's own funding machine. I can do it. Trump's Save America PAC had $ 106 million in funding as of May.

"I think it's a complete plan," the individual said. "It would be ridiculous for anyone to try to discourage you from what's not happening."

DeSantis' campaign did not respond to requests for comment. ..

'DeSantis can do what he wants'

Unlike donations to candidate campaigns, donations to Super PAC are capped there is no. As it is, Super PAC has become an important gear in the most serious presidential candidate's election efforts. Super PAC still has some restrictions (for example, you can't raise money from federal contractors or foreigners), but the law is tested and extended every election cycle.

On paper, the law discourages candidates from turning the money raised for the state's race from supporting federal campaigns. However, the FEC, divided into three Republicans and three Democrats, has shown no willingness to pursue complaints against Super PAC, which violates the spirit of the law, a former FEC lawyer now at the Brennan Center. Daniel Weiner said. For justice.

"Many of these fall into the gray areas, and the rules are as powerful as the people who implement them," Weiner said. "For more than a decade, enforcement has been fairly weak. Unless he explicitly violates the law, DeSantis will be able to do what he wants."

Donald's before the FEC The details of the case are very similar to the situation where DeSantis can find himself next year.

In Florida, candidates often choose to raise funds through state-registered political commissars. As with Super PAC, there is no limit to the amount that a state political action can receive from a single entity such as an individual, a company, or a dark money group.

In 2019, Donald formed a state political committee called Byron Donald's Friend and began raising funds. At the beginning of 2020, Donald resigned as chairman of the committee, and three days later he applied for a candidacy for the US House of Representatives in southwestern Florida.

Around that time, a super PAC called a trusted conservative was registered with FEC. When the Friends of Byron Donalds closed in June 2020, they sent the remaining reserve of about $ 107,000 to Trusted Conservatives. For the next three months, Trusted Conservatives spent most of their money on ads that favored Donald and torn to Republican primary challengers. Donald eventually won the race with only 777 votes and was elected to Congress that November.

Election Observer Campaign Legal Center has filed a complaint alleging that the Federal Trade Commission cannot spend the money raised for the state races. The arrangement also appeared to violate federal regulations prohibiting coordination between Super PAC and candidates, the organization said. The FEC legal counsel agreed and recommended action. Donald's legal team claimed that he had left the political committee a few months before his dissolution, and that he was not involved in directing money to credible conservatives.

FEC split 3-3 and the case was closed.

Like Donald, DeSantis runs a state-registered political committee called Ron DeSantis's Friend. Raised $ 115 million in this campaign cycle.

Saurav Ghosh, who spent seven years in the FEC's Legal Advisory Office, previously believed that DeSantis was "really brave" to build a super PAC with the money raised by his political action. I did.

"But given Donald (the case), I think certain FEC members are leaving a big loophole for that to happen," said the current director of the Campaign Legal Center. Gauche said.

Republican FEC members did not respond to requests for comment.

DeSantis' political team includes Phil Cox, a veteran political operative who ran a Super PAC in support of the former Governor of New Jersey. The campaign, his political action, and the Florida Republican Party have also spent $ 21,000 over the past eight months at Dickinson Wright, a Washington, DC law firm specializing in Super PAC advice.

"DeSantis has built a team that knows how to do this," said an individual involved in Republican funding in Florida.

The Super PAC, named Ron Ready, was launched earlier this year to encourage DeSantis to run for president. A committee formed by long-time Republican consultant Ed Rollins, unrelated to DeSantis, has already aired ads on Fox News.

"The most important thing for a presidential candidate is who runs the campaign, but the second most important question is who runs the Super PAC in a legally competent way." Said Scott Reed. Former top strategist of the US Chamber of Commerce. "With DeSantis out of this cycle, he can do a dry run of funding, and he's been a huge success."

Millions of people It's the reality of Florida that fuels speculation that people are coming in and not going out

Desantis are raising money for two campaigns at the same time. He is building an unprecedented cash advantage and has not been used much so far.

DeSantis brought more money than the US historical governor candidate, who was not self-funded.CNN reportedearlier this year. This has been updated by the total funding. Since the beginning of June, his political committee has raised hundreds of donations ranging from $ 1 to $ 6, including $ 400,000 from facility management firm Florida Care. $ 200,000 from former Illinois Governor Bruce Launer. $ 100,000 from New Jersey investment company The Portopiccolo Group.

The $ 130 million his campaign has accumulated over the last four years far exceeds his predecessor, Gob's $ 90 million at the time. Rick Scott spent 2014 to win the reelection. This is a record at that time.

However, Scott was one of the country's least popular governors by the end of his first term and was the main target of the Democratic Party for the People, who considered Florida to be Tosap. Scott needed all the dollars he raised and $ 18 million of his own money to win his second term slightly against Democratic candidate Charlie Crist.

Meanwhile, DeSantis is very popular with his bids for another four years. The Democratic Party for the People has traditionally focused energy and resources on governor elections in other states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico. So far, no democracy has secured space in Florida's radio waves. DeSantis does not know who is the enemy until the Democratic primary in late August. Also, neither his challenger, Cristo, nor Secretary of Agriculture Nikki Fried can match DeSantis' funding.

At this point in 2014, Scott had already accumulated over $ 18 million in expenses. DeSantis spent $ 7 million this year between the campaign and the Political Commission. He bought a modest $ 1.8 million commercial time in the fall, but has relied primarily on free exposure received from local and national press and conservative media organizations promoting his agenda and brand. .. "Fox&Friends" recently featured a campaign product inspired by the "Top Gun" that the DeSantis Campaign sells on its website.

By November, DeSantis may have spent more money than expected. A source close to his political team said DeSantis wanted a "win in a big election." This can be costly to achieve.

Sources added that DeSantis has not promised to challenge Trump in the Republican primary.CNN previously reported that the former president had considered announcing his intention to flee Florida again in October.

"We heard it all," sources said. "It doesn't change our deliberations."

Reed wants many donors to "change the Trump chapter" and gives DeSantis the best chance of the Republican Party in 2024. He said he was making an early bet.

"It is clear that DeSantis is building the whole country, a financial institution with great success," he said. "Your two best friends in politics are money and a message, and he positions himself in a pole position when the gun goes out."