Democrats Allegedly Illegally Paid Foreign National For Campaign Work

A watchdog complaint has accused a Democrat congressman and major Democrat campaign committee of violating federal election law by paying a firm run by a foreign national more than $700,000 for campaign work.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) has alleged that both Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee illegally paid for campaign services from Arizona-based firm La Machine — which is run by Antonio

Valdovinos, whose family illegally immigrated to the United States.
Valdovinos regularly highlights his status as a foreign national living in the U.S. thanks to former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — which has been ruled to be illegal by numerous courts, yet it is still in place.

FACT’s complaint states that Gallego, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Valdovinos violated laws that forbid foreign nationals from working on American political campaigns or even contributing money to campaigns.

“Foreign nationals are barred from contributing in any substantive way, both financially or strategically, and given the facts here this is precisely what appears to have happened — repeatedly,” Kendra Arnold, the watchdog group’s executive director, wrote in a statement. “The monetary political donations made by Mr. Valdovinos would be egregious violations in and of themselves, and the fact he literally created a political consulting firm with a significant client list and billings is truly beyond the pale.”

The complaint includes documentation of massive payments made to Valdovinos’ firm, along with political donations made by the foreign national to federal candidates.

Campaign finance disclosures show that La Machine was paid a staggering $710,000 for “voter canvassing” in the last three months of 2022 — while Gallego’s campaign committee, Gallego For Arizona, paid La Machine $211,587.66 for multiple services, which included petition gathering and consulting.

La Machine’s website even lists Gallego, his wife and several other Arizona Democrats as the firm’s clients.

Meanwhile, Valdovinos was found to have illegally made at least 17 political donations to federal candidates from 2019 to 2022, according to the disclosures.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) previously confirmed in a ruling that DACA recipients are classified as foreign nationals after a complaint was filed in 2019 over Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign hiring foreign nationals.

In the case, the defendants tried to argue that “DACA recipients are in a special category of foreign nationals for which the foreign national prohibition is of far less concern, and that enforcing it against them would violate their First Amendment rights.”

However, the FEC ruling in that case stated that “DACA status does not confer citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or any other immigration status. Thus, at the time of their employment by the [Bernie Sanders campaign], the [three DACA recipients] were foreign nationals under the Act.”

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub confirmed this fact in 2019, noting in a statement: “Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept.”

“Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation. Any political campaign that receives an offer of a prohibited donation from a foreign source should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the statement continued.

This issue with Valdovinos has been going on for some time now, yet nothing has been done to stop him from continuing to violate federal election law. In January, the Washington Free Beacon reported: “The FEC has already flagged Valdovinos as a possible offender of the campaign finance statutes.”