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DFL to file FEC complaint against Ilhan Omar's primary opponent Antone Melton-Meaux

The DFL is accusing Melton-Meaux's campaign of violating federal election law.
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Rep. Ilhan Omar and Antone Melton-Meaux

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer Labor Party will on Wednesday file a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) complaint against the man challenging 5th District Rep. Ilhan Omar in next week's primary.

The DFL announced Tuesday it would be making the complaint against Antone Melton-Meaux for Congress, which it accuses of "conspiring to intentionally obscure" some of the consultants providing political services for his campaign.

That's because three of the companies consulting on Melton-Meaux's campaign are LLCs – WCPA, Lake Point Consulting, and North Superior Consulting – the latter two of which were registered in Delaware late last year.

MinnPost reported in July that Melton-Meaux's campaign had paid almost $100,000 to Lake Point and North Superior, but refused to disclose what the companies were doing for the campaign outside of "strategic consulting," nor who is involved in them.

WCPA meanwhile is believed to have conducted direct mail TV advertising services for the campaign, per the DFL complaint.

The DFL alleges that these companies were created for "the sole purpose of shielding the identity of the individuals or firms actually providing services to the campaign," which it says is prohibited under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

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The primary between Omar and Melton-Meaux – a mediation lawyer – has seen heavy spending, with the latter having significantly outraised the first-term representative.

But the sources of Melton-Meaux's funding have been the subject of media scrutiny after it emerged that his campaign has attracted donations from right-leaning PACs and Republicans with an aversion to Rep. Omar, though he has plenty of local, Democratic donors too.

The DFL complaint alleges that Melton-Meaux's campaign admitted to obscuring the details of the three consulting companies, explaining in an email to supporters that it did this because the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has a policy of "blacklisting" vendors who work on campaigns against incumbents.

Omar's campaign spending also under scrutiny

Omar was herself the subject of an FEC complaint last year after she was accused of being in a relationship with the owner of a political consulting company that worked on her campaign.

Despite denying it at the time, Omar revealed earlier this year that she had married Tim Mynett. It was revealed last week that his firm, E. Street Group, has received $1.6 million in payments for services from Omar's firm.

Last month, Omar defended these payments on Twitter, saying her husband's firm was one of many her campaign had contracted for ad buys.

In a statement to the Star Tribune, Melton-Meaux's campaign said the DFL's FEC complaint is an effort to distract from Omar's own alleged campaign impropriety.

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