Jeb Bush's leadership PAC filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Donald Trump Wednesday, accusing his campaign of illegally accepting corporate funds by using the Trump Organization's legal counsel to fire off cease-and-desist letters to critics. The PAC received such a letter last week from Alan Garten, general counsel for the Trump Organization, who threatened "immediate legal action" if the group produced ads that attacked the billionaire developer.So apparently it's a campaign finance violation for Trump to use attorneys who work for his business to threaten Jeb's PAC. Did you know that? Did you care?
But what inspired Jeb's lawyers to heights of snark was the fact that Trump's counsel sent the cease-and-desist letter to the wrong Jeb PAC:
... Garten sent the letter to the Right to Rise PAC, a leadership PAC that has made contributions to Republican candidates, instead of to its sister super PAC, Right to Rise USA, which has begun running a television spot hammering Trump and other GOP candidates as unqualified to be commander in chief.Oooh, sick burn!
This rookie mistake drew no small amount of derision from Charlie Spies and James E. Tyrrell III, the attorneys for the PAC. In a letter to Garten Wednesday, the lawyers urged him to consult the FEC website "to familiarize yourself about the differences between Leadership PACs and Super PACs."
Or, they suggested, he could skim two key federal court decisions in 2010 that paved the way for the creation of super PACs. "They are both very helpful and might clear up some of your confusion," they wrote....There's more, and it's somewhat amusing -- but really, isn't this emblematic of the entire Jeb Bush campaign? Jeb was supposed to be the alpha candidate in a field of betas, yet he can't land a punch on any of his opponents, clearly because he doesn't want to. But he's willing to pay high-priced guys in suits to fight for him, you betcha!
"Just as your client is attempting to quickly learn the basics of foreign policy, we wish you personally the best in your attempts to learn election law," Spies and Tyrrell concluded.
That's worked for other members of his family when the hired fighters-in-suits were genuine thugs -- Lee Atwater, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove. But Jeb's surrogates are fighting over campaign finance law. Jeb and his team think Trump has been totally owned because they reminded him that a leadership PAC and a super PAC are two different things. Jeb needs to win over moderately conservative retirees in New Hampshire whose next egg is dwindling and who just lost a nephew to opiate addiction, and he thinks the way to do it is to pay a couple of lawyers to tell PAC jokes.
Sorry, Jeb, you're still pathetic.