Democrats accuse Herschel Walker and Marjorie Taylor Greene of campaign finance violation

1365

Georgia Democrats have filed a complaint about a series of ads the congresswoman is running backing Walker's Senate campaign.

The Democratic Party of Georgia filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, alleging that Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker and Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's campaigns are illegally coordinating and circumventing campaign finance rules.

If the two are indeed campaigning together, as the photos in Wednesday's complaint suggest, it would also contrast with Walker's past denunciation of antisemitism, given Greene's history of questionable behavior.

The party claimed specifically that Greene's campaign has been running Facebook ads backing Walker's bid to challenge Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) next year. The roughly $3,000 in expenditures have not been disclosed as in-kind contributions to Walker.

The complaint alleges that it is "highly likely that the campaigns coordinated in the distribution of the advertisements" because the ads feature photographs of Walker and Greene together, including in front of a Walker campaign sign.

Walker's campaign did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story, but a Walker spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday that the complaint was "frivolous" and a "desperate and false attack by Democrats."

In an emailed statement, Greene spokesperson Isaiah Wartman said, "I don't respond to inquiries from people who have pronouns in their bio or signature. You're [sic] name is Josh. I know you're a dude."

Experts say it's possible neither Greene nor Walker did anything wrong if they did not work together on the ads themselves, noting that the Democratic Party complaint is light on evidence in that regard, which would mean Greene's ad spend could simply be considered an independent expenditure. However, one expert told the American Independent Foundation that if there were any conversations about using the photos in the ads, it could be considered "coordination" and subject to campaign finance rules.

"There's definitely smoke here," they said.

Additionally, regardless of whether the ads represent a campaign finance violation, they demonstrate a clear contradiction of Walker's past comments denouncing antisemitism and other discriminatory beliefs.

Greene, who has promoted the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, was punished by her House colleagues in February for inappropriate conduct, including her history of antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ, Islamophobic, and racist comments and actions. In 2018, for instance, Greene blamed a California wildfire on secret space lasers controlled by the prominent Jewish Rothschild family and shared an anti-Muslim video that falsely claimed Jewish people were trying to destroy Europe via "immigration and miscegenation."

Walker, meanwhile, was forced to do damage control earlier in October over a planned campaign fundraising event with Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais, a filmmaker who had used an image of a swastika made of syringes as her Twitter profile picture.

Hours after his campaign defended the picture as merely an innocent "an anti-mandatory vaccination graphic," Walker canceled the event. "Despite the fact that the apparent intent behind the graphic was to condemn government vaccine mandates, the symbol used is very offensive and does not reflect the values of Herschel Walker or his campaign," officials told the Journal-Constitution.

Walker's team also asserted that the candidate "unequivocally opposes antisemitism and bigotry of all kinds."

Walker has been linked to other controversial figures in the past.

The former NFL player has longstanding ties with Jerry Mungadze, a homophobic gay conversion therapist who once claimed he could tell whether someone was gay or possessed by demons by watching them color with crayons.

The invitation for an upcoming December Walker campaign fundraiser — to be held at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort — also lists as a host former Missouri state Sen. John Loudon (R), who in 2015 spread racist and Islamophobic conspiracies about then-President Barack Obama.

The Mar-a-Lago event will also feature Trump, who has his own long record of bigoted, antisemitic, and racist behavior. Walker, for his part, has defended Trump's actions, standing by him after Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States during his 2016 campaign.

"We do have to get this country safe. We have to quit being politically correct," Walker said at that time.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.