The chair of the Federal Elections Commission has crying "uncle" in the face of a deadlocked commission. Which is really too bad, because 2016 is shaping up to be one long exercise in candidates skirting the edge of campaign finance laws, such as they are.
As the 2016 campaign unfolds, Hillary Rodham Clinton will benefit from one rapid-response team working out of a war room in her Brooklyn headquarters—and another one working out of a "super PAC" in Washington.Bush, though, is the one who is stretching the bounds of the law—and credulity—to the stretching point, with his "if I'm running" routine. Since he's not actually declared officially, by his advisers' reasoning anyway, he hasn't had to register with the FEC and thus can go all around the country soliciting as much money as he wants for his allied Super PAC and for the "non-profit" organization also affiliated with him, and he can coordinate with them. That includes paying all the people who are advising him in his "not yet" campaign.
Jeb Bush has hired a campaign manager, press aides and fund-raisers—yet insists he is not running for president, just exploring the possibility of maybe running.
And Senator Marco Rubio’s chance of winning his party’s nomination may hinge on the support of an "independent" group financed by a billionaire who has bankrolled Mr. Rubio’s past campaigns, paid his salary teaching at a university and employed his wife.
All share some variation of the name "Right to Rise," and Mr. Bush has headlined fund-raisers for the groups, even putting his name on invitations to more than 300 donors who attended a Right to Rise conference in Miami in April.Oh, so he's just the chairman. The chairman who has an "optimistic, conservative message" that the whole country must hear, starting with Iowa and New Hampshire. But don't call it Bush's campaign. It's more like a hobby. An extremely lucrative hobby.
Technically, however, the super PAC is controlled by a Republican campaign lawyer in Washington. The regular PAC is run by a Florida accountant who has also prepared Mr. Bush's taxes. (Mr. Bush is merely the PAC's "honorary chairman.") And the nonprofit group is controlled by a former Bush aide who is widely described as the head of Mr. Bush’s policy team, but who has said the nonprofit will merely be "engaged in policy generation that is consistent with Governor Bush's optimistic, conservative message."