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FEC unanimous in throwing out ’19 complaint by KY GOP against Matt Jones, his publisher, radio station

The FEC has unanimously thrown out a 2019 complaint by the Kentucky GOP chair citing “illegal campaign contributions” against Simon & Schuster and iHeart radio over radio host Matt Jones book deal and employment.

Mitch McConnell

The report by Business Insider reporter Bryan Metzger said J. McCauley Brown, Kentucky GOP chair, alleged Simon & Schuster and iHeart radio were “paying for Jones’ statewide campaign tour which was linked to his reported candidacy against McConnell. Jones filed FEC paperwork for an exploratory committee but ultimately decided against running for Senate.

A lawyer for Simon & Schuster said the complaint used “circuitous, baseless and repetitive rhetoric.”

Jones went on to finish the book deal for “Mitch, Please!” following a tour of all 120 counties in Kentucky.

The FEC found that Brown’s original complaint had no merit, Metzger reports. They cited Jones’ intention to write the book “whether I run for the Senate or not.”

The publisher’s lawyers offered a lengthy response to the complaint in a 56-page document that includes Jones’s entire publishing agreement and a scan of the $30,000 check paid to the radio host. It said the Kentucky GOP was using “extensive distortions and misinformation.”

The Republican Party of Kentucky did not respond to a request for comment to Business Insider.

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