That was fast: former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced his presidential campaign on Tuesday–and, in the very same speech, inadvertently violated campaign finance laws.
Huckabee spoke from Hope, Arkansas–the same town where Bill Clinton launched his campaign for the 1992 election, running famously as “the man from Hope.”
Who would’ve thought that, out of the two most famous speeches delivered from the tiny Arkansas town, Bill Clinton’s would be the more legally-compliant one.
In Huckabee’s speech, Huckabee talked about the kind of support he was looking for between now and November 2016:
“I will be funded and fueled not by the billionaires, but by working people who will find out that $15- and $25-a-month contributions can take us from Hope to higher ground,” he said, referencing the unique now of the town he was in. Jokingly, he added: “Now, rest assured, if you want to give a million dollars, please do it.”
Readers, do not listen to Mike Huckabee. Do not give him a million dollars–or else, you (and Huckabee himself!) might be in deep trouble with the law.
Unfortunately for Huckabee, a candidate can’t ask for a million dollars–even if it’s jokingly. Asking for a million dollars is illegal under campaign finance law. Individuals are capped at gifts of $2,700 or, if they represent a PAC, $5,000.
Obviously, Huckabee’s joke–aside from a laugh and the ability to discuss just how careful a candidate must be in today’s election climate–shouldn’t have too many lasting repercussions for the former governor’s chances.
Pending he doesn’t cash any of those hoped-for million dollar checks.