Although United States Senator Tim Scott’s 2024 campaign for president has raked in millions of dollars this year, it’s a “mystery” as to where the money is going, The New York Times reports.
Per The Times, recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show filings “the Scott campaign made $4.3 million in payments from April 1 to June 30 to a company called Meeting Street Services L.L.C.,” which “included $2.8 million for ‘placed media’ and more for digital fund-raising, strategy and video production.”
However, according to the report, the company cannot be found online, “has not been paid by any other campaign,” and “its listed address, in North Charleston, S.C., is a Staples store.”
The Times reports, “Masking the companies, groups and people ultimately paid by campaigns — effectively obscuring large amounts of spending behind businesses and convoluted consulting arrangements — has become common, as political candidates and organizations test the limits of campaign finance law.”
However, the publication also notes:
Federal law requires campaigns to disclose their spending, including itemized details of their vendors, as a safeguard against corruption and in the interest of transparency. But as in many aspects of campaign finance law, campaigns have found workarounds, and the body that oversees such regulations, the Federal Election Commission, is perpetually hamstrung by partisan deadlock.
Ex-FEC attorney and Campaign Legal Center Director Saurav Ghosh said, “The idea of disclosing payments in this way defeats the whole purpose of campaign finance disclosure law. It’s been a problem for a while, but like most that go on unaddressed, it has a tendency to get worse, and I think this one is getting worse.”
Campaign finance expert Paul S. Ryan noted, “This practice completely undermines the federal campaign finance disclosure requirements. The public has a right to know how political committees are spending donor dollars.”
A top communications adviser to Scott, Matt Gorman, claims, “These are independent companies we contract with to provide services to the campaign including managing multiple consultants. Payments to those companies are disclosed like all others on our F.E.C. report.”