“Ready for Ron,” a political action committee eager for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president, said today that the Federal Election Commission is attempting to stifle its effort to nudge the GOP superstar into the 2024 race. The FEC is causing waves of errors among Republicans. The “Ready for Ron” Group said that the FEC is limiting free speech.
“The FEC is flat-out wrong,” said a political law attorney who today delivered a 17-page rebuttal to the FEC on behalf of Ready for Ron.
Ready for Ron formed in May with plans to collect thousands of signatures on a highly publicized petition to convince DeSantis that there is national support for his candidacy, especially should former President Donald Trump not run.
“President Donald Trump, who became a candidate for re-election mere hours after his 2017 Inauguration, is not among the 367 current candidates in the 2024 presidential election. Consequently, R4R has organized as a ‘draft committee’ that seeks to encourage Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is also not a candidate for president and has not expressed any intention to run for president,” said the group in its May letter to the FEC.
However, the FEC has drafted two responses that would trip up the effort. One would ban giving the petition to DeSantis outright, claiming it would have a value higher than contribution limits allow. A second “Draft B” would allow the free transfer, but only before DeSantis begins any exploratory effort.
The FEC is expected to consider the drafts as early as this week.
DeSantis is currently running for reelection against Rep. Charlie Crist. DeSantis is also a highly touted potential 2024 presidential candidate and ally of Trump who has touched on several issues key to the GOP base during his first term. His national popularity has led him to campaign nationally for Republican candidates in the midterm elections.
In the Ready for Ron letter provided exclusively to Secrets, the group urged the agency to scrap “Draft A,” and approve “Draft B,” but only if it is modified to OK the transfer of the petition even if DeSantis begins exploring a 2024 bid.
The group’s supporters compared the Ready for Ron effort to the 2014-15 “Ready for Hillary” campaign by a group of Democratic Party activists to pave the way for Hillary Clinton to enter the race.
The petition, promoted with advertising and other expenses, already has 58,000 names, emails, and addresses on it and could provide a good boost to DeSantis.
Some Republicans who follow FEC actions have concerns that the agency’s legal team leans anti-GOP. What’s more, with new members on the agency, which is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, it’s unclear how the rookie Democrats will vote. In a recent vote, the newest Democrat sided with Republicans.
Unlike a list of donors, which would have a very real value, the petition is just a list of those who would like DeSantis to run, and it should be available to DeSantis without any problem, said the Ready for Ron attorney.
“This isn’t a contributor list or a member list. It’s a list of people who signed a petition saying give my information to Ron DeSantis because I want him to run for president,” the attorney told Secrets.
“They’re not giving him a list of donors; they’re giving him a list of petition signers. And so, it is a fundamentally different thing. It’s about people expressing their constitutional right to political speech to say, ‘Hey, I want you to run,’” he added.
See more at the Washington Examiner.