Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) posted b-roll footage and photos and high-resolution photos to his campaign website, which could serve as an attempt to circumvent prohibitions on campaign coordination with independent political action committees (PACs) such as super PACs.
While this may seem innocuous to many Americans, many campaigns often employ this tactic to seek to garner help from outside political entities without violating federal election law.
Many campaigns, and perhaps Peters’ campaign, often post b-roll footage online as a strategy to circumvent federal election laws preventing coordination between political campaigns and outside entities. Independent political groups, such as super PACs, can download the video that is posted publicly online by the campaign and can use it to support the candidate because the video was obtained in a public forum.
Republicans have contended that Peters has started fretting after polls have shown a statistical dead heat between him and Senate Republican candidate, combat veteran, and businessman John James.
“Sen. Gary Peters is panicking, knowing he’s in a dead heat with John James,” said Ted Goodman, a Republican political operative who served as James’s communications director in 2018. “Michiganders will reject Peters, who wants to eliminate private health insurance and refuses to support good trade deals that help working families. He is more interested in appeasing the radical left than serving the people of Michigan, and that’s not going to fly here.”
Peters faces a tough reelection campaign against James. Recent polling has found the race to be a toss-up. The Cook Political Report has moved Peters’ reelection campaign from “Likely Democrat” to “Lean Democrat” as James continues to rise in the polls.
Peters has even attempted to shy away from Democrats’ Medicare for All proposals, though he admitted during the summer, “You’re going to have Medicare for All down the road.”
This revelation follows as James continues to raise millions of dollars in the third quarter of 2019.
An October report found that James raised more than $3 million, which serves as the largest third-quarter off-year fundraising total for a Michigan Senate campaign in the last decade.
The $3 million fundraising haul came from more than 30,000 donors. The James campaign said that this fundraising total shows the high level of grassroots support for the Michigan Republican Senate candidate.
“The grassroots support for John James is extraordinarily high,” the James campaign said.
— John James (@JohnJamesMI) October 24, 2019