Hollywood director and screenwriter Joss Whedon appears to be bankrolling dozens of ad campaigns for Democrats using a super PAC, creating a muddy paper trail that may show Whedon and various Democrats have run afoul of campaign finance laws.
Joss Whedon, who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer and directed several of the Marvel Avengers films, has donated over $400,000 to the newly founded political action committee One Vote At A Time. After each of his donations, One Vote At A Time made payments in the amount of his donations to Oh Must You? Productions Inc., a video production company owned by Whedon, which then ostensibly used the money to create the over 200 campaign advertisements posted to the PAC’s YouTube channel.
It is worth noting that campaign finance reports reveal Whedon and Oh Must You? Productions both use the same Malibu, California P.O. Box to receive and send these payments.
To further complicate matters, while large sums of money are traveling between Whedon, the PAC, and the production company, every advertisement produced by One Vote At A Time contains legal disclaimer at the end of the ad suggesting it was paid for entirely or in part by the candidates. Many of the candidates went as far as thanking One Vote At A Time for their production work on their campaign social media pages, suggesting the advertisements were made as a collaborative effort between the campaigns and the PAC.
In at least one instance, Whedon may have already violated campaign finance law.
Campaign finance reports reveal that Whedon contributed $4,085 to the reelection campaign of Ohio House Democrat Mary Lightbody. Lightbody then reported that she used $4,084.94 of this donation to purchase a political ad from “Oh Must You Productions/One Vote At A Time.”
Thanks to One Vote At A Time for the wonderful campaign video. Thanks also to director Joss Whedon for the financial support that made it possible. Mary is honored to run for Ohio House District 19 to bring a common sense approach to the problems facing our state. Help Mary ensure the Blue Wave crests November 6! Donate to Mary’s campaign at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/marylightbody?.
Posted by Mary Lightbody for OH House District 19 on Friday, October 26, 2018
The problem? One Vote At A Time is a federally registered super PAC, and is not legally allowed to spend money or influence state level politics. Worse, as a federally registered super PAC, it is not legally allowed to consult or speak with the campaigns it speaks for.
To further muddy the waters, Oh Must You? Productions Inc. has received $461,469 during this political cycle, and with the exception of one $2,700 payment, all of the money came from One Vote At A Time.
So far, One Vote At A Time has publicly posted campaign ads for state and federal candidates in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina.
For his part, Whedon previously expressed his distaste for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party using incendiary language on Twitter. He has tweeted that he wants House Speaker Paul Ryan to be “f*cked to death” by a rhino, claimed that Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation would “cement the first American dictatorship,” and was finally given a suspension from the platform after tweeting that he wished President Trump would “just quietly die.”
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