The Pennsylvania Democratic Party calls on the Federal Election Commission to investigate two newcomers to the 2022 US Senate race – famed doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund executive David McCormick – accusing the candidates of violating separate provisions of federal electoral law.
The party filed two separate complaints with the FEC on Friday morning, including one alleging that Oz, a celebrity talk show host, “capitalizes” on its business resources by using a version of its TV show logo , her show’s web domain and corporate social media accounts for campaign purposes.
In the complaint, which has been reviewed by City & State, the party suggests that “companies affiliated with Dr. Oz (including Oz Media, LLC) may have made ineligible in-kind contributions to Doctor Oz for the Senate by loaning these resources and potentially others in the countryside. Federal law also prohibits a corporation from using its name or brands to facilitate the making of contributions to a federal candidate.
The Democratic Party goes on to say that Oz is “openly capitalizing on brands and business resources to gain an unfair advantage.”
The complaint asks the FEC to investigate whether Oz violated campaign finance law by accepting and making in-kind corporate contributions, and whether Oz Media, LLC used its “names and / or brands.” for the benefit of the Oz campaign. His campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The other complaint Against McCormick wonders whether the former CEO of Bridgewater Associates should be required to officially register as a candidate since he spent more than $ 2 million on TV commercials in his exploratory bid for the US Senate.
According to the FEC, a person is considered a candidate when spend more than $ 5,000 to try to influence an election. However, a “testing the waters” exemption allows those who are still determining whether or not to run for office to exceed that $ 5,000 threshold.
In the complaint, the state Democratic Party notes that “McCormick’s ads carefully avoid labeling him as a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania,” but suggests that the ads “are clearly intended to raise awareness of Mr. McCormick to advance his candidacy ”.
Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Jack Doyle criticized both Oz and McCormick and said both must comply with federal election requirements.
“Mehmet Oz and David McCormick might think the rules don’t apply to them because they’re rich, but no one is above the law,” Doyle said. “Pennsylvania deserves a senator who will work hard for the Commonwealth, not a charlatan from New Jersey or a hedge fund manager from Connecticut who sent jobs to Pennsylvania overseas.”
While Oz is a relatively new participant in the race and McCormick continues to weigh in on a formal offer, the two would likely end up facing other contenders in the GOP primary.
Montgomery County real estate developer Jeff Bartos, former US Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands, Conservative commentator Kathy Barnette and whistleblower Everett Stern are all also running for the Republican nomination on election date. primaries being set for May 17.