Jeb Bush isn't an official candidate yet, but that's not stopped him from staffing up with advisers. How he's paying those advisers, since he doesn't have an actual campaign yet or campaign funds to pay them, might be skirting existing campaign finance laws, such as they are. Bush is using the dark money, "nonprofit" Right to Rise Policy Solutions organization founded in Arkansas by former WalMart executive Will Simon to pay his advisers until he officially announces and moves them to the campaign team.
At least four people with expertise on energy issues, foreign affairs and communications are working with Right to Rise Policy Solutions, a nonprofit advocacy group that can accept secret, unlimited donations from individuals and corporations.
Bush's reliance on the nonprofit as he prepares for a likely presidential bid puts him on untested legal ground, cloaking who is paying the salaries of his expected advisers. But a polarized Federal Election Commission is unlikely to scrutinize the maneuver, campaign finance experts said. […]
Having Simon's nonprofit group temporarily house a team of Bush aides means that the public may never know who is paying the salaries of those helping craft Bush's policies right now. Tax-exempt "social welfare" groups such as Right to Rise Policy Solutions can accept unlimited funds from individuals and corporations and are allowed to keep the names of the contributors secret. Simon has said he may end up disclosing the donors to the group, but it is unclear when that might happen.
By not declaring yet, Bush is skirting a 2002 law that bans a candidate from either directly or indirectly forming a campaign organization that isn't subject to contribution limits. But he's not an official candidate yet, so he can create this shadow campaign. Meanwhile, he's also using an allied Super PAC, also called Right to Rise, to raise boatloads of money for his not-yet-official campaign.
He might be more than a little inept in handling questions about his brother's epic failures, but he's damned good at exploiting the law and keeping things in the dark. Which makes him an awful lot like his brother.