Kid Rock, who has been tossing around the idea of a U.S. Senate run since July, fired back in his own colorful way Friday against a Washington-based watchdog group that claimed he was in violation of campaign finance law.
“Go f--- yourself,” the rocker said.
The watchdog group, Common Cause, filed a complaint with U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission, arguing that the singer, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, is an official candidate because he has been selling "Kid Rock for Senate" merchandise and teasing the idea of a Senate run for months.
“Regardless of whether Kid Rock says he’s only exploring candidacy, he’s selling ‘Kid Rock for Senate’ merchandise and is a candidate under the law. This is campaign finance law 101,” Paul Seamus Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at the watchdog group, told the Hill.
“He can’t reasonably claim to be merely testing the waters of candidacy and thus exempt from candidate filing requirements. He is a candidate and is obligated to abide by all the rules and make the same disclosures required of everyone else running for federal office.”
The watchdog group believes Rock “has received contributions and/or made expenditures in excess of $5,000” through his various Kid Rock-labeled merchandise, which would make him a candidate according to election law.
It also cites the “Kid Rock for Senate” website, which launched July 12 and is still active, as well as the failure to disclose campaign contributions as further violations.
The FEC also requires candidates to disclose individual donations of more than $200, and record the personal information of people who donate more than $50 at a time, the Hill reported.
Candidates who are truly “testing the waters” do not have to abide by these rules until it is clear they are making the steps toward becoming a candidate, at which time they must file all the proper paperwork and disclosures.
However, in a blogpost on Kidrock.com, the singer called out the “reports from the misinformed press and the fake news” regarding the campaign violation, adding that “I have still not officially announced my candidacy.”
If Kid Rock is serious about running for Senate, and it’s not just a ploy to boost the rock star’s bottom line, he would face Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., in November 2018.