Yesterday, Wisconsin Democrats filed an official complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against failed Senate candidate and potential GOP candidate for governor Kevin Nicholson. The complaint addresses Nicholson’s dark money spending of $1.5 million through his right-wing non-profit to boost his own political profile without officially launching a campaign for state office.
Nicholson has announced in multiple interviews his plans to run for statewide office — he just hasn’t made up his mind about which one. While he weighs his selfish ambitions to decide which office he’s got a better shot at, he’s conducting shady spending and abusing the tax code to avoid paying taxes and disclosing who his wealthy donors are.
The IRS expressly prohibits political activity from being a 501(c)(4)’s primary activity — but that hasn’t stopped Nicholson from placing a $1.5 million primetime ad buy to raise his name ID and then bragging about it in an interview.
Using proxy organizations to run shadow campaigns is turning into a common tactic for the Wisconsin GOP. An IRS complaint was also filed against Republican candidate for governor Rebecca Kleefisch for using her dark money group to campaign for governor before she officially announced her campaign.
“Wisconsin candidates for governor are showing they care more about boosting their own image than they do about following the law,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “If they’re unwilling to play by the rules and put the people of Wisconsin over their massive egos, they’re absolutely unfit to serve as governor or in any other statewide office.”