For Immediate Release
Contact: Eddie Kurtz
On Saturday, October 2, the Associated Press published a report by Brian Slodysko highlighting Republican Congressional candidate Alek Skarlatos’ misuse of campaign funds, partially reprinted below. For the full text of the article, click here.
Alek Skarlatos, a hero soldier-turned-Republican congressional candidate, started a nonprofit shortly after his 2020 defeat in a western Oregon race, pledging to advocate for veterans “left high and dry” by the country “they put their lives on the line for.”
The group, which Skarlatos seeded with $93,000 in leftover campaign funds, has done little since then to advance that cause.
What it has nurtured, though, are Skarlatos’ political ambitions, providing $65,000, records show, to his 2022 bid for a rematch with longtime Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio in a district stretching from the college town of Corvallis to the Oregon shore. It’s a seat that Republicans are targeting in their quest to win back the House.
“You can’t do that,” said Adav Noti, a former lawyer for the Federal Election Commission who now works for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington. “There’s serious corruption potential. The law contemplates that.”
Though the transfer of $65,000 from Skarlatos’ nonprofit to his campaign was listed as a “refund” in filings, that likely doesn’t square with the law, said Noti, the former FEC attorney.
“You can’t, months later, send a different amount from a nonprofit company to a campaign and say it was a refund for a larger amount that was transferred much earlier,” he said.
Skarlatos has collected payments from his campaign in the past.
During the 2020 campaign, Skarlatos paid himself more than $43,000 in mileage reimbursements, rent and expenses vaguely listed as “contractor campaign staff,” records show.