Kid Rock Avoids Legal Trouble Over Merch-Centric 'Senate' Campaign
Kid Rock has found himself in the public eye for two decades (as if we needed another reminder about how much older we are all growing), forging a career that has been high on hits and controversies. Meshing his penchants for issuing well-received music and ruffling feathers, the chart-topping artist and Michigan native last year teased a Senate run that ultimately served to promote “Sweet Southern Sugar,” his 11th studio album. More than a year after that Billboard Hot 200 entrant’s release, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) announced the man born Robert Ritchie had not committed federal election violations through the stunt that came with campaign merch such as hats, T-shirts and yard signs.
Three months after Promo Marketing covered the now-47-year-old’s declaration, the rocker rejected any lasting notion that he would add making policies to his talent for crafting well-received songs. However, his refutation had not come fast enough to stop the watchdog group Common Cause from seeking the FEC’s involvement. Voting 3-1, the independent regulatory agency dismissed contentions that Kid Rock had broken candidate registration rules and financial reporting stipulations, also freeing of any blame his record company, Warner Bros., for its decision to help peddle the aforementioned goods.
Kid Rock cleared of federal election violations after Senate gimmick https://t.co/01LxFCybi9
— Detroit Free Press (@freep) November 24, 2018
The promotional aspect deserves particular attention in this matter, as the FEC addressed its existence on Nov. 20 through a seven-page verdict explanation. Though the merchandise resonated among the Office of General Counsel (OGC) in its role as Common Cause’s torchbearer, the FEC stated, “…we do not believe the record in this matter—the sale of concert-themed merchandise by a musician who explicitly disclaimed candidacy—implicates concerns which are central to the Commission’s regulatory mission or deserving of its resources.”
The OGC had not taken up the case solely based on that Common Cause gripe, as the previous paragraph alluded to with its mention of supposed monetary and filing missteps, but it is the complaint that drew the most attention from us. Kid Rock, who obviously did not need the money derived from merch sales to finance anything campaign-related, endowed the proceeds to CRNC, a College Republicans affiliate, once he had made clear, under oath, that his potential candidacy was just “a concert promotion.” In other words, through his promotional move, the musician ended up giving support to a group aligned with his political beliefs, so no harm there, and hooked his fans up with some pretty memorable novelty items. Overall, Common Cause and the OGC could not have been happy about his moves, but said college enrollees and supporters of all things Kid Rock will not be complaining anytime soon.