Brian Jones faces new campaign law violations in Congressional race

Sen. Brian Jones faces questions about misuse of campaign funds

A Republican candidate running to replace Rep. Duncan Hunter, who resigned from Congress for misusing campaign funds, is facing questions about his own misuse of state campaign funds.

Since September 1, State Senator Brian Jones of Santee has spent $122,481.82 in campaign expenditures from his state campaign committee, an account established with the exclusive purpose of supporting his 2022 reelection to the State Senate.

Despite his reelection being more than two years away, Jones for Senate 2022 has spent big money on direct voter contact, including $39,890.42 worth of direct mail and $30,000 in information technology costs paid to IVC Media, a political consulting firm managed by Chad Peace, the son of former Democratic lawmaker Steve Peace.

The six-figures in campaign expenditures from his 2022 state-level committee exceed the total amount that Jones has spent on his current congressional campaign, which is now less than two weeks away. According to his 2019 year-end federal campaign report, Brian Jones for Congress 2020 has spent just $85,332.16 in campaign expenditures.

Jones 2022 State Account Spends More than 2020 Congressional Committee  

State and federal campaign finance laws preclude candidates from using state campaign contributions to fund a campaign for federal office. In 2019, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris closed her active state-level campaign account and donated the approximate $1 million balance to charitable causes because she was legally barred from transferring the funds for use in her presidential bid. 

“A candidate’s authorized (federal) committee may not accept funds or assets transferred from a committee established by the same candidate for a nonfederal election campaign,” the Federal Election Commission states under its guidelines for “Transfers from a candidate’s nonfederal committee”.

On January 7, Rep. Duncan Hunter announced his resignation from Congress after pleading guilty to a felony count of misuse of campaign funds. Jones is one of ten candidates seeking to succeed Hunter in Congress. 

Coordinated Messages, Identical Logos

Since creating a Facebook page on November 22, 2019, Brian Jones for Senate 2022 has spent $20,103 to run 75 Facebook advertisements, according to Facebook’s advertising disclosure records. The advertising campaign has generated between 854,000 and 1.019 million impressions – with three-quarters of the social media advertisements featured since January 1.

Facebook advertisements on Jones’ Senate page have mirrored the messaging by his congressional campaign committee, focusing on themes of religious liberty, traditional values, and transgender rights.

“Did you know the CA legislature passed a resolution telling people of faith their beliefs are “illegal?” asks one Jones for Senate 2022 advertisement, which generated as many as 80,000 impressions.

In near perfect symmetry, the Brian Jones for Congress Facebook page answers, “Christians right to freely practice their faith in America is under attack. Politicians, human rights commissions, neighborhood HOAs and government bureaucrats are trying to silence Christians or make them compromise their biblical values.”

Even the campaign logos for his Senate and congressional campaign are identical, displaying Jones’ name in identical font on an identical blue and red background.

In addition to potential campaign finance violations, by funding advertisements from his State Senate account to advance his campaign for Congress, Jones is able to conceal his current campaign spending until after the March 3rd primary.

Jones has already been the subject of a California Political Review investigative report which found the State Senator had also used state taxpayer funds to purchase advertising and promote himself during his Congressional election campaign, a controversial practice that may violate taxpayer protection laws.

Comments

  1. Looks like he’s trying to collect on those multiple pensions. This kind of outside the law behavior is what gives politicians a bad name. While he runs on religious liberty themes, he discounts the fact that the Bible calls us to seek the truth. Whether or not the other candidates bear up under scrutiny remains to be seen, but Brian Jones seems to have made some serious errors in judgement.

  2. Yeah any Republican who is against abortion must be removed or discredited. Judgement day is comming.

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