Federal Election Commission Dismisses Complaints Over Kid Rock’s Fake Senate Run
Back in 2017, Kid Rock teased a potential run for a U.S. Senate seat in his home state of Michigan -- a move he'd later admit was a publicity stunt. Rock's actions didn't sit well with the non-partisan watchdog group Common Cause, which filed a complaint against the artist with the Federal Election Commission. The FEC recently decided, however, that Rock will not face any legal action for his fake Senate run, and dismissed the issue.
On Tuesday (Nov. 20), the Washington Post reports, the Federal Election Commission officially dismissed the complaints against Rock. In their decision, FEC Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Commissioner Matthew S. Petersen explain that although the Commission's Office of General Counsel felt that Rock -- real name Robert Ritchie -- violated the FEC's Campaign Act of 1971, the Commission voted to "dismiss the matter as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion."
"Ritchie ... does not appear to have taken even the most basic steps to become a candidate ... Nor does the record show that Ritchie made statements indicating he was a candidate under his legal name," Hunter and Petersen write in their official explanation of the dismissal. "Accordingly, we do not believe the record in this matter ... implicates concerns which are central to the Commission’s regulatory mission or deserving of its resources. Even assuming that Ritchie’s conduct technically violated FECA, further pursuing this matter would have been an unwise use of Commission resources."
In July of 2017, fans discovered the website KidRockForSenate.com, and while Rock confirmed that the site was real, he remained coy about his political intentions. His plan, as it turned out, didn't involve politics at all, but rather new music and a new tour.
"F--k no, I’m not running for Senate, are you f--king kidding me?” Rock told Howard Stern during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in October. “Who couldn’t figure that out?”
Nonetheless, on Election Day 2018 (Nov. 6), Rock's fake Senate run made its way into the news once again. Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel used his recurring "Lie Witness News" segment to ask people for their feelings about Rock being elected to the U.S. Senate in Michigan in a "special election." The crew used fake CNN footage and "victory speech" clips from one of Rock's concerts to make the story more believable -- so believable, in fact, that some of those they spoke with were convinced it was true.
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