FEC Clears MAGA Candidate Over ‘Phantom Job’ Claims


The Federal Election Commission ruled that it had “insufficient evidence” to demonstrate that a far-right Washington State House candidate received illegal campaign contributions in the form of a “phantom job,” as his former campaign manager claimed to The Daily Beast. In its decision, the election regulator noted the confusion Joe Kent created by misreporting the name of the firm that paid him a six-figure salary on multiple federal disclosures, as well as his campaign’s failure to provide a “substantive response” to the charges. It did however highlight evidence the company, Advanced Enterprise Solutions, provided that Kent’s employment predated his failed 2022 candidacy—and that his responsibilities could accommodate a full campaign schedule. The FEC noted that the company’s owner had financed an opinion poll on Kent’s chances, but determined this did not rise to the standard of illegal coordination.

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