The Nevada Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Republican Sen. Dean Heller on Monday, accusing him of keeping money from a company that made illegal campaign donations to multiple candidates, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Heller was not the only candidate who did not return funds received from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, however, and a Heller spokesman said the money cannot be returned because it's already been used.
"Our campaign cannot return money that was spent on the 2012 election six years ago," spokesman Keith Schipper told TheBlaze in an email.
What's the story?
The Nevada State Democratic Party called for the FEC to investigate Heller's campaign. The complaint comes in the midst of Heller's re-election campaign, which is expected to be a tight race with Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen.
"It's been months since Sen. Heller was told to return these illegal campaign contributions, but instead he's hiding from the press and refusing to follow the law," said Nevada State Democratic Party executive director Alana Mounce. "Sen. Heller's attempt to flout campaign finance rules speaks volumes about his lack of respect for the office he holds and the state he represents, and the FEC should investigate these violations.
"It's past time for Sen. Heller to play by the rules and immediately disgorge these illegal campaign contributions," Mounce said.
Not the only one
The Cancer Treatment Center of America violated campaign finance laws for more than a decade. The company would give bonuses to managers and then direct them to contribute to political candidates or organizations.
"You'll notice that most folks haven't returned the money, and my hunch is that it's because of similar reasons as ours, but you might want to ask them," Schipper told TheBlaze.
Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign and a now-disbanded joint fundraising committee called Romney Victory received donations from CTCA as well.
Sources close to that campaign told Bloomberg that most of the money, which went to Romney Victory, did not need to be returned because the committee dissolved before the CTCA case settled.
Numerous other candidates and organizations have not returned illegal funds they received. CTCA requested that they disgorge (turn the money over to the U.S. Treasury), but the FEC itself reportedly has not directly asked these campaigns to do so.