Todd Long Under Federal Investigation: Gop Nominee Accused of Stealing Campaign Funds

October 8, 2012

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is investigating Todd Long for the theft of campaign funds involving the printing of his book, The Conservative Comeback: How to Win the Battle for the Soul of America.The Orange County Democratic Party filed a complaint with the FEC on September 4, 2012. The complaint explains how Long illegally used $44,499.99 in campaign funds to print copies of a book for which he was responsible personally.

As the complaint reads:

“It is clear what happened here. Mr. Long is entitled to attempt to bolster his career as a radio talk show host by entering into a contract with a vanity publisher to co-publish a book with the same name as his radio show. What Mr. Long is not allowed to do, however, is to steal nearly $45,000 in campaign funds to satisfy his personal contractual obligations to his publisher.”

It is illegal for a candidate to use campaign funds to “fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s campaign …” 2 U.S.C. § 439a(b)(2). Long, not his campaign committee, entered into the book contract with the publisher, Strang Communications. Therefore Long’s obligations would exist regardless of his candidacy.

Long might argue that he was justified to use campaign funds because the book is campaign-related, and lays out his platform if elected. However, nowhere on the book is there the legally-required disclaimer explaining that the book was paid for by Todd Long’s campaign.

“There are only two possible explanations, and both of them are illegal. He either stole campaign money, or intentionally excluded the disclaimer on campaign material as required by law. In either case, Todd Long is guilty. Long’s enormous personal debts of more than $1 million may make him desperate, but they certainly are no excuse for this gross misconduct. Todd Long has defrauded his supporters and contributors, and they should ask for their money back,” said Grayson for Congress campaign manager Mitch Emerson.