Allies of former President Donald Trump charged that his potential rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, violated his state’s “resign-to-run” law by launching a “shadow” presidential campaign, therefore necessitating an ethics investigation.
‘Frivolous Attacks’ on DeSantis
While Donald Trump unveiled his 2024 candidacy back in November, Florida’s popular GOP governor has not even hinted he will run for the Republican nomination. Even so, his widespread popularity fueled speculations he will face Trump to become the party’s White House nominee.
At the same time, reports have claimed he intends to “make it official” in May after the Florida legislature completes its session and codifies his policy initiatives into state law.
The accusations against DeSantis of running an unofficial campaign for the 2024 White House election have come from a PAC (political action committee) allied with Trump.
The PAC, which is called “Make America Great Again Inc.,” insists that DeSantis is circumventing Florida’s resign-to-run law, The Epoch Times reported.
The MAGAI committee has thus sent its complaints about DeSantis in a 15-page letter to the Florida Commission on Ethics submitted by the PAC’s chief Taylor Budowich. The pro-Trump PAC is asking the body to launch an investigation into the governor, including his fundraising and spending.
The MAGAI PAC’s website states it isn’t “authorized by any candidate” but at the same time works to “ensure a second Trump administration.” It also makes it clear its goal is to “promote” candidates from the America First movement.
The pro-Trump PAC’s ethics accusation against DeSantis was dismissed by the latter’s communications director, Taryn Fenske, who called them “frivolous and politically motivated attacks.”
Fenske also told the news outlet that state ethics complaints should not be utilized “for partisan purposes.”
JUST IN — The head of a Trump-aligned super PAC filed an ethics complaint against Ron DeSantis.
Taylor Budowich, head of Make America Great Again Inc., filed a letter dated Tuesday with the Florida Commission on Ethics over allegations DeSantis—who hasn’t officially entered the… https://t.co/dlaV7Db6JA
— Mariana (@lonestarherd) March 15, 2023
The head of a Trump-aligned super PAC filed an ethics complaint against Ron DeSantis.
Taylor Budowich, head of Make America Great Again Inc., filed a letter dated Tuesday with the Florida Commission on Ethics over allegations DeSantis—who hasn’t officially entered the race— is… https://t.co/f38plggoUG
— Dr Vincent Sativa 🇺🇸 (@The_Weed_Shop) March 15, 2023
Exclusive: Former President Trump’s allies are formally accusing Florida Gov. DeSantis of violating state ethics and election laws with a “shadow presidential campaign,” according to complaint draft obtained by @NBCNews. https://t.co/rT2z2APVVs
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 15, 2023
Book Tour Deemed Shadow Presidential Campaign
The spokeswoman of Florida’s Commission on Ethics, Lynn Blais, refused to confirm or deny the existence of a formal complaint against Governor DeSantis.
She noted initial complaints were kept confidential until commission actions were made, which would be announced to the public. These include the discovery of a “probable cause” as a result of investigations.
Budowich’s complaint argues Ron DeSantis has “already” become “a de facto” candidate for the 2024 GOP nomination and president of the United States because he conducted a book-promoting tour in multiple states.
Florida’s governor launched his tour for his book, “The Courage to be Free,” on February 28.
Last week, DeSantis spoke in Nevada and Iowa, both of which hold early primaries for the Republican presidential nomination. Pundits have already described his trips as laying the groundwork for his future presidential campaign.
In his letter to the Florida Ethics Commission, Budowich argues the fact that DeSantis failed to announce his candidacy was “no mere oversight.”
Instead, according to the Trump supporter, it is “a coordinated effort” to allow Florida’s governor to accept “illegal campaign contributions” and “personal benefits” as “unethical gifts,” while advancing his future White House candidacy.
BREAKING: Trump's Super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc, has formally lodged an ethics complaint against Ron DeSantis for violating state ethics and election laws.
The complaint alleges that DeSantis is running a "shadow presidential campaign" and asks the Florida Commission… https://t.co/tLUeigCsYX pic.twitter.com/bnD7ZJazad
— Really American 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) March 15, 2023
DeSantis: Endorses every single Republican running for statewide office.
Budowich: "This is a shot across the bow against President Trump." pic.twitter.com/J29VV9enD3
— The Jew (Max) (@MaxNordau) December 11, 2022