The Federal Election Commission (FEC) formally dismissed complaints it received against Kid Rock after the rocker teased a Michigan senate run. In a ruling released this week, the FEC determined Rock did not appear “to have taken even the most basic steps to become a candidate.”
In 2017, Rock hinted that he’d enter the 2018 Michigan senatorial race, using his concerts as a pulpit to voice his political beliefs, launching a campaign website and even selling “Kid Rock for Senate” merchandise.
However, a month before Election Day 2017, the rocker born Robert Ritchie admitted in an interview with Howard Stern that the whole thing was a publicity stunt. “Fuck no I’m not running for Senate! Are you fucking kidding me,” Rock told Stern, a quote that featured prominently in the FEC’s decision.
Although Rock’s Senate campaign was most likely a hoax, the Commission’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) still asked the FEC to investigate any impropriety involved in the endeavor and if it violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971; the FEC ultimately announced their decision to dismiss the complaint on November 20th, the Washington Post reports.
“Ritchie – who respondents credibly argue is barred from being identified as ‘Kid Rock’ on a Michigan election ballot – does not appear to have taken even the most basic steps to become a candidate,” the FEC wrote, noting that Kid Rock could not seek office under his rock-star moniker.
“There is no evidence that Ritchie ever established a committee or campaign account, sought ballot access, hired a campaign staff or political consultants, sought to participate in a candidate debate, opened a campaign office, or solicited contributions for a campaign.”
The FEC added, “Accordingly, 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.”
Despite what Jimmy Kimmel told some gullible people, Democrat and incumbent Debbie Stabenow ultimately won the Michigan senate race on Election Day, defeating Republican candidate John James; Rock performed at a campaign rally in support of James.