Combs is being scrutinized by The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), as
the group filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC)
against Combs today (Nov. 3).
Peter Flaherty, President of The NLPC alleges that Combs and
his non-profit, Citizen Change, may have violated the Federal Election Campaign
Act (FECA) and the Internal Revenue Service Code, when he rallied support for
John Kerry and called for the defeat of President George W. Bush during last
year’s presidential election.
The NLPC alleges that Citizen Change rallies called for the
election of Kerry and the ousting of Bush and references two rallies in particular,
including an Oct. 26, 2004 event at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
The group says violations occurred when Leonardo DiCaprio and
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick urged the crowd to vote for Kerry.
The Complaint states that Citizen Change’s address was
listed as the same as Combs’ business address and alleges that Combs could
have used his company’s corporate funds to illegally support Citizen Change’s
The NLPC is asking the FEC to investigate whether or not Combs
used the Vote or Die campaign to advance “commercial activity, namely
Combs' line of clothing and/or his clothing company.”
"The Vote or Die Campaign was little more than a way for
Combs to call attention to himself,” Flaherty said in a statement released
to AllHipHop.com. “In terms of effectiveness, it was a joke."
Flaherty says Combs’ Citizen Change did promote voter
mobilization, but claims the non-profit engaged in prohibited electioneering
Tonight, Combs is being honored by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
during the National Equal Justice Award Dinnner in New York City.
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA.), Johnson Publishing Company President
Linda Johnson Rice, Combs were selected to be honored at the NAACP’s most
important annual event at the Hilton New York & Towers.
“Honoring Combs shows how badly the civil rights movement
has lost its way,” Flaherty stated. “I think of the courage and
decency of Rosa Parks, and then I think of what Combs represents."
In a previous press release, LDF Director-Counsel and President
Theodore M. Shaw labeled Combs and the other honorees “21st century advocates
"Their combined efforts have helped to change the political,
economic and cultural landscapes of America and brought the nation closer to
realizing its democratic ideals," Shaw stated.
Combs was not available
for comment at press time.