In the wake of an election that many Republicans believe was rife with fraud and irregularities, Georgia has been home to a significant amount of the alleged chicanery.
As a recent example, the state GOP believes it has caught Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Jon Ossoff in the act of a major Federal Elections Commission violation against coordinating with political action committees.
“Appear to have been coordinated”
The Georgia Republican Party filed a formal FEC complaint on Sunday accusing The Georgia Way, a newly formed super PAC, of producing an ad that included a script virtually identical to talking points crafted by the Ossoff campaign.
According to the complaint, the committee’s ad dovetailed neatly with Ossoff’s focused points against incumbent Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), constituting an in-kind contribution to the campaign estimated at more than $690,000.
The super PAC was reportedly launched less than a month ago as an affiliate of the Senate Majority PAC that is closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). It appears to be focused primarily on aiding Ossoff’s bid to unseat Perdue.
Republicans argue that The Georgia Way has spent more than $4.9 million of the funds it has raised so far, “all of which appear to have been coordinated with Jon Ossoff for Senate in order to defame Senator David Perdue.”
The FEC complaint specifically points to one advertisement “directly tracking language, sources, and claims made on Jon Ossoff for Senate’s campaign website.”
“In-kind donation to Jon Ossoff”
State Republicans concluded: “The sudden organization and immediate sequence of The Georgia Way’s advertisement indicates that it is in coordination with Jon Ossoff for Senate in publishing communications of similar conduct and content.”
As evidence of the party’s claims, the complaint included talking points published on Ossoff’s campaign website that accused Perdue of, among other things, lying to Americans about the dangers of COVID-19 while making stock trades based on his insider knowledge about the pandemic.
Less than two weeks after that accusation went live online, The Georgia Way released its first and, to date, apparently only ad making virtually the same arguments in the same order and context — with only slight variations on the wording.
According to the Georgia Recorder, the complaint might not find favor with the FEC if the PAC can prove it had not coordinated with the campaign and merely derived the information from publicly available sources.
The Georgia GOP, however, believes its case is solid, concluding: “Based on the timing, messaging, conduct, and context of the campaign update and the advertisement, Jon Ossoff for Senate is coordinating its message against Senator Perdue with the Senate Majority PAC’s newly formed committee, The Georgia Way. This conduct has resulted in the airing of at least one advertisement that likely constitutes an illegal $690,200 in-kind donation to Jon Ossoff for Senate’s campaign.”