Beto’s Campaign Staff Caught Appearing to Misuse Donor Funds

November 2, 2018 Updated: November 2, 2018

The campaign office of Texas Senate candidate Congressman Beto O’Rourke has been called out by undercover reporters with Project Veritas Action Fund for appearing to use campaign funds illegally.

Project Veritas Action released video footage late on Nov. 1 that was captured by their undercover journalist who had embedded themselves in O’Rourke’s campaign for a seat in the Senate.

The video appears to show campaign staffers consciously misusing funds to pay for supplies to take to recently arrived illegal aliens from Honduras on the campaign’s pre-paid credit card.

Dominic Chacon, a field manager who works for O’Rourke’s campaign, was filmed saying, “I think we can use that with those [campaign pre-paid] cards to buy some food, all that [expletive] can be totally masked like, oh we just wanted a healthy breakfast!”

Chacon made this statement after receiving word that a few Hondurans that were accepted as asylum seekers from the migrant caravan had just arrived in the United States. “They’re dropping them [the Hondurans] off, like, really close to Missouri,” Chacon said. “They say it’s this Holy something church but it’s actually really close to here.

“I’m going to go get some good right now, like just some stuff to drop off, cause they need food and blankets.

“Apparently, some of the kids are sick too, so they are trying to get some doctors and things to send,” he said.

Chacon also revealed to the camera that he was aware he was breaking the FEC rules in misusing the campaign funds. He told the journalist, “If you get caught in some sort of, like, you know, violation, that’s like a $50,000 fine.”

“That’s why, like, with my own money, I’ve been focusing on buying blankets, you know. Stuff that I feel like would be hard to pass.

“Only because I know, like, the FEC regulations are that we have to spend the money to get votes and for the campaign.

“Sometimes, if we have to go rogue, we have to do things under the carpet, it’s better to sit down and have those individual conversations like this is what’s going to happen.

“Make sure it doesn’t get out this way,” he said.

The discussions in the video suggested that knowledge of the misuse of funds went all the way up to O’Rourke’s campaign manager, Jody Casey.

Field manager Andrea Reyes was caught on hidden cameras talking about the illegal use of funds, “We’ll be fine. We already got approval from our field directors.

“I told Jody and I told my director,” she said.

Reyes said her field directors told her “we can use them [pre-paid cards] on anything that boosts morale essentially and gets our job done. I’m like, essentially we’ll buy stuff except for alcohol or drugs.”

Chacon said, “They want us to be the ones to submit the receipts just to make it easier and then justify, like, what these costs were used for. As long as they’re netting votes.”

When the journalist went with field organizer Anapaula Themann to deliver the food and supplies to the migrants, she was asked, “Do you have any Beto stuff on you, like wearing it?

“I just don’t want them to know,” Themann said. “I don’t think they’ll associate right away. It’s just, I don’t want to make it seem like all of us are from there, so it’s like … I just hope nobody that’s the wrong person finds out about this.”

According to Project Veritas Action’s attorney, the discussions captured in the footage could lead to criminal charges against O’Rourke’s campaign staff for “making a false statement to the federal government.” Staffers could also be charged with violating FEC rules “against personal use and misreporting” which involve fines of up to $10,000 or 200 percent of the funds involved.

James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas Action, commented in the video that “charity and helping your fellow man are things we applaud at Project Veritas Action. The problem is, you can’t break the law when you do it.”

Most Expensive Campaign

The race for the Senate in Texas has been the most expensive in the country, with O’Rourke breaking the record for the most funds raised in a single-quarter, reported Roll Call.

U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke
U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) poses for photographs in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 31, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to the FEC, O’Rourke’s campaign in 2018 has spent $60.3 million as of Oct. 17, according to records, while the campaign of Republican Ted Cruz has spent $34 million in the same period.

Records as reported on the Open Secrets website show that most of O’Rourke’s donations came from individuals.

The Epoch Times has contacted O’Rourke’s campaign office for comment.