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Chris Kenny is single-handedly trying to buy the Delaware State Senate for Republicans, and recently filed campaign finance reports make it crystal clear.
In total, Kenny has contributed nearly $500,000 to three GOP-aligned political action committees, with one – A Better Delaware PAC – spending nearly $180,000 in independent expenditures between August 29 and October 7.
These third-party expenditures have exclusively benefitted just three Republicans – Cathy Cloutier, Anthony Delcollo, and Dave Lawson. The filings show each Senator has already benefited from as many as eight mail pieces and two digital ad campaigns, with three weeks still to go before Election Day.
“A Better Delaware isn’t pro-business; it’s anti-worker,” said Delaware Democratic Party Chair Erik Raser-Schramm. “It is a conservative organization that is desperate to thwart future increases to Delaware’s minimum wage, opposes expanded benefits like paid family leave, and in the state with the lowest tax burden in America, is an advocate for further tax breaks for wealthy corporations that would make it impossible to properly fund things like education reform. As they attempt to buy these three Senate seats, Delawareans should be concerned about the kind of legislation they’re buying in the process.”
A glimpse at the 30-Day finance reports indicates just how beholden to A Better Delaware these three Senators are. Cloutier raised just $12,000 into her campaign committee in 2020, while Lawson raised just $26,500 and Delcollo tallied $38,000. All three spent minimally on their own campaign communications.
“Taken together, the campaign finance reports tell a clear and deeply concerning story: these Republicans are willfully skirting campaign finance laws by knowingly outsourcing their campaign communications to A Better Delaware PAC,” Erik Raser-Schramm said. “The fact that these campaigns are doing virtually no political advertising of their own indicates they knew that assistance would be coming from a dark money entity like A Better Delaware and it raises questions about what kind of influence the campaigns had over that messaging.”
As Title 15, § 8002 of the Delaware Code clearly states, it is not considered an independent expenditure when “[t]here is any arrangement, coordination or direction with respect to the expenditure between the candidate or the candidate’s agent and the person…making the expenditure.”
Further, the Code states a communication does not qualify as an independent expenditure when “[t]he expenditure is based on information provided to the person making the expenditure directly or indirectly by the candidate or the candidate’s agents about the candidate’s plans, projects or needs.”
Kenny’s nefarious foray into electioneering isn’t confined to these three races. The K3C PAC, which has spent thousands of dollars on incendiary mailers targeting Kent County Democrats, was seeded with $45,000 from Kenny Family Shoprite stores.