Trump-Endorsed JD Vance Keeps Failing to Follow Financial Rules


  • US Senate candidate JD Vance just scored Donald Trump’s endorsement in Ohio’s high-profile race.
  • But Vance has struggled to comply with federal financial disclosure rules.
  • Federal regulators most recently accused his campaign of not properly disclosing $700,000 in loans.

In November, Republican US Senate candidate JD Vance blew past a deadline for disclosing his personal finances, in violation of federal law.

When Vance finally detailed his finances about a month late, his disclosures to Congress were missing key details about his expansive wealth, including how much money Vance made from the Netflix adaptation of his “Hillbilly Elegy” novel.

Now, the Federal Election Commission is prodding Vance’s campaign committee to cough up details about $700,000 in loans Vance has personally made to his campaign.

“You must provide the name and address of the loan source, the date incurred, the original amount of the loan, the due date, the interest rate, the cumulative payment, and the outstanding balance,” FEC senior campaign finance analyst Brian Buhr wrote April 19 to JD Vance for Senate Inc.

 

Vance’s campaign could face an FEC investigation, audit, or fine for failing to properly disclose the terms of Vance’s personal loans to his campaign.

The FEC specifically flagged a $100,000 loan Vance made to his campaign on May 19, 2021, and a $600,000 he made on March 31, 2022.

JD Vance loan disclosure

US Senate candidate JD Vance disclosed that he loaned his campaign $600,000 on March 31, but federal election regulators say he improperly omitted key details.

Federal Election Commission


Vance’s campaign improperly excluded details about the loans’ due dates and interest rates, as well as whether Vance himself fronted the money or obtained it from a lending institution, according to the FEC. For the $100,000 loan, Vance should have revealed this information months ago, the FEC said.

The Vance campaign did not respond to Insider’s inquiries about the loans.

Vance is one of seven candidates seeking the Republican Party nomination in Ohio’s hypercompetitive — and decidedly nasty — US Senate race, the outcome of which could have significant bearing on whether Democrats retain — or lose — their Senate majority.

In addition to Vance, top Republican competitors include former Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, investment banker Mike Gibbons, former Ohio Republican Party Chairperson Jane Timken, and state Sen. Matt Dolan. The winner of the GOP’s May 3 primary will likely face Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who briefly ran for president ahead of the 2020 election.

Last week, Vance scored former President Donald Trump’s endorsement — a major boost for his campaign, given that Trump in 2020 won Ohio by 8 percentage points despite losing the election to now-President Joe Biden.

“With J.D. Vance, Ohio gets both brains and brawn. Ohio has been good to me, I won it twice, really BIG, and I have likewise been GREAT for Ohio. Let’s keep it going!” Trump said in a statement.

Vance immediately touted Trump’s endorsement in a campaign ad.

Trump’s endorsement shocked some political observers, particularly since Vance had previously lambasted Trump’s style, substance, and effect on American society.

“I go back and forth between thinking Trump is a cynical asshole like Nixon who wouldn’t be that bad (and might even prove useful) or that he’s America’s Hitler,” Vance reportedly wrote in a 2016 Facebook message.

“Trump makes people I care about afraid. Immigrants, Muslims, etc. Because of this I find him reprehensible. God wants better of us,” Vance said in an October 2016 tweet.

Vance has since expressed regret for his fleeting never-Trumpism.

“Like a lot of people, I criticized Trump back in 2016,” Vance said during an interview on Fox News in July. “And I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy.”



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