Dude, Kid Rock's rad senate run may be totally illegal

Harsh watchdog group claims that if Kid Rock is actually running for the Senate, he's breaking the law — lame

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published September 1, 2017 2:22PM (EDT)

Kid Rock   (Getty/Theo Wargo)
Kid Rock (Getty/Theo Wargo)

If Kid Rock is serious about running for the United States Senate — which, despite all common sense, he seems to be — he may be breaking the law.

In a complaint addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, watchdog group Common Cause pointed out that Kid Rock (real name Robert James Ritchie) was acting like a Senate candidate despite not officially registering as one and had failed to either publicly disclose his campaign contributions or abide by donation restrictions. If Ritchie is in fact a legitimate Senate candidate, these actions would violate federal election law.

The complaint extends to Warner Bros., which is "accused of violating federal law and commission regulations by facilitating and acting as a conduit for contributions to the Kid Rock campaign."

As Common Cause’s vice president for policy and litigation Paul S. Ryan wrote, "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."

Ryan adds, "Given the activities we’ve documented in the complaint, 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."

To be fair, Kid Rock's close friend and fellow right-wing rocker Ted Nugent insisted last month that Robert Ritchie isn't serious about his professed electoral ambitions.

As Nugent told a local radio host, "He never thought of running. Somebody literally pulled it out of their ass and said, 'Hey, what about Kid Rock?' Kid Rock didn’t know anything about it. He’s just having fun with it because it's so silly."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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