In response to my article on Taylor Marshall’s recently suspended, make-pretend, bid for the Office of President of the United States of America, a thoughtful reader raised a valid question:
Had Marshall perhaps run afoul of Federal Election Commission regulations?
Hoodwinking naïve colleagues (LifeSite News), trusting friends (his “good buddy” Eric Sammons), and faithful followers alike with self-promoting theatrics is narcissistic and unbecoming a Catholic commentator, but it’s not unlawful. If, however, Marshall’s ersatz “run for the White House” had actually ended up being – even if unintentionally – a 53-day dash for cash whereby he personally profited from his bogus campaign for federal office, well that’s another story altogether.
Now, I’m no Columbo, but I am fairly competent at conducting basic online research. Here’s what I’ve discovered:
An article on the Business Insider website states:
All it takes to formally declare a run for office is a two-page “Statement of Candidacy” form. According to the FEC, the paperwork must be filed after receiving or making campaign purchases of $5,000 or more, but can also be filed any time before the candidate raises money.
Any American citizen can run for presidential office, leading hundreds of crackpots and longshots to fill the Federal Election Commission’s databases with names like Earl for President, Princess For President, Captain Cannabis, Kurt Cobain, and “SpungeBob SquarePants.”
They left out “Taylor Marshall for President,” but the article predated his … ahem … candidacy, and besides, he never got around to filing that “Statement of Candidacy” anyway.
I was curious: Just how cumbersome is that form?
On May 9, Marshall told Eric Sammons that his candidacy was not yet “on ink,” but he was actively brainstorming with a crack team of clergy, consultants, lawyers, other trusted advisors. Furthermore, he insisted, “I do intend to file that paperwork.”
Wow, that form must be a doozy, I thought. Probably costs a pretty penny to file it too.
Wrong. I visited the FEC website and was able to fill it out online in under 3 minutes (no kidding, I actually timed it). For the benefit of dummies, the FEC even provides a sample of that form filled out in the name of Martha Washington.
Take a look. A child could file that form, after which a Candidate Identification Number is assigned. Oh, and did I mention that it’s FREE?
The fact that Marshall never even bothered to take this one very simple step to formalize his candidacy tells me (and others with a functioning brain) that “I am serious. I am running.” was total BS from Jump St. (which, by the way, runs directly into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave).
But, but… Taylor hadn’t yet determined which party he wished to represent!
Right, he told Sammons that he “thinks” that’s the reason for the delay in filing (red flag for fakery), but that dog won’t hunt. The FEC provides a very simple way of updating or changing such details as often as the … ahem … candidate may find it necessary.
With all of this in mind, if Lt. Columbo were on the case, surely with a hand raised to his furrowed brow he’d say: I’m just not clear about why Taylor chose not to register his candidacy with the FEC. It doesn’t make sense. I mean, there must have been a good reason. What was he avoiding?
While on the FEC website, I verified what Business Insider reported: The paperwork must be filed after receiving or making campaign purchases of $5,000 or more.
This is where things get dicey for the founder of the Christ the King Party.
I can testify firsthand to the fact that there is substantial overlap between “Taylor Marshall for President” and “Dr. Taylor Marshall as seen on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify…” and other related parts of the TM secular business enterprise.
On July 4, the long-awaited day upon which Marshall had promised to make public his “Presidential Platform,” I filled out the following form on his website, providing my name and email address. Please read it carefully.
I submitted my information in good faith with the intention of writing about his Christ the King platform. As regular readers are well aware, the Social Kingship of Christ is a topic very dear to me, in particular as it relates to its denial at Vatican II, the U.S. Constitution and the restrictions that text places on American civil authorities.
Notice two very important things about that registration form: One, the stated purpose of submitting an email address is to “Receive a printed copy of my platform.” Secondly, the form also plainly states: “I will use your email only to be in touch with you regarding this platform.”
The claim here is very straightforward: This is about “Taylor Marshall for President,” a campaign activity. Period.
Even so, as of this writing, I haven’t received that printed copy of the platform. I did, however, receive the following email almost immediately after submitting my email address:
Evidently, by requesting a printed copy of his presidential platform, I had been subscribed to Taylor Marshall’s secular enterprise, upon which he sent me the “confirmation” email above, along with information that had nothing to do with his platform and his “bid for the office of President.”
No big deal, probably just a mistake. I mean, what Presidential campaign hasn’t experienced organizational issues?
But wait, there’s more.
As mentioned in my previous post on this topic, on July 4, upon visiting the website for the Christ the King Party that Marshall “founded,” allegedly to facilitate his campaign, I found it dysfunctional save for yet another email registration form to “Join Our Movement.”
Later that same day, I registered there as well. This time, I received no reply at all, but maybe that’s because my email address was already in the TM, Inc. database.
As I write, visitors to the CKP website are now redirected to – you’ll never guess where – the website for Taylor Marshall’s secular business enterprise! Go ahead, give it a try – christthekingparty.com – but do so right away. Something tells me that these overlapping lines are soon to be erased on the advice on Marshall’s attorney.
And why might his attorney advise as much?
When the overlap between a candidate’s business activities and his campaign activities is such that there’s a strong possibility that the candidate enriched himself personally with funds associated with his campaign, the FEC just might take an interest. This sort of thing seems to be right in their wheelhouse.
Could this be the reason why Marshall never got around to filing that simple “Statement of Candidacy,” since doing so would have put him and his campaign on the FEC’s radar screen?
Only he knows for sure, but one thing is absolutely certain, the overlap between his campaign activities and his business interests is substantial and it is obvious. That leaves us with a question:
Does a strong possibility exist that Marshall profited from his short-lived sprint for the presidency?
Again, I’m no Columbo, but I do have some interesting data in hand that might suggest an answer to that question.
On May 6, 2023, just days before Marshall announced his candidacy for President of the United States, confirming as much via LifeSite News, his YouTube channel had 491K subscribers.
On July 4, the day he simultaneously revealed his “Presidential platform” and officially withdrew from the race, his channel had 527K subscribers – a net of gain of some 36,000 subscribers. (Source: https://socialblade.com/youtube/c/drtaylormarshall/monthly)
Now, if I were Columbo, I’d be curious to know just how many of those 36,000 new subscribers were cultivated as a result of Marshall’s candidacy for President of the United States. Using my made-for-television gift of superior logic, it would be clear to me that the real question isn’t if some of those new subs were a direct result of his candidacy announcement, but rather how many of them subscribed due to that announcement?
Naturally, that would cause me to wonder just how many of those new subs were moved to make a donation to candidate Marshall via his YouTube channel to help fuel his … ahem … run for the White House?
Once again, my superior logic would immediately kick in, telling me that the question isn’t how many of those people gave money to Marshall under the pretense that he was running for office, rather, it’s how much did they give?
So, there, that about covers it. In conclusion…
Oh, before I wrap this up, forgive me… I’m so sorry… I’ve taken up enough your valuable time, but there’s just one more thing…
I have a nagging thought about the 491,000 subscribers that Marshall enjoyed even prior to tossing his hat into the ring for Election 2024 (actually, through the ring and out the other side) .
You see, now follow me here, those 491,000 people are among Marshall’s most committed supporters. These are the very people that appreciate Taylor and his efforts so much that they decided to smash that subscribe button, as the YouTubers say.
Anyway, it only stands to reason that of all people, this crowd would be more excited than most about the prospect of a President Taylor R. Marshall raising the banner of Christ the King at the White House. Wouldn’t you say?
Now, when the big news broke that he was “serious” about running for President, I have to imagine that at least some of those good people decided that the least they could do is to click the Patreon link that accompanies all of Taylor’s videos, you know, to provide him with a little extra jingle for the journey to the White House.
Once again, the question here isn’t if some of them clicked that Patreon link in response to his campaign announcement, it’s how many clicked, and, more importantly, how much did they give?
I’m a simple man. Never did finish college – got way too costly way too fast – but I did take a bunch of courses in advanced mathematics before I entered the workforce.
Now, if my figures are correct, it would seem to me that if just 2% of Taylor’s subscribers were so excited by his candidacy that they decided to toss an extra $10 into his Texas sized ten-gallon hat, well that would result in a six-figure windfall, far in excess of the $5000 threshold that requires candidates to file with the FEC.
That would really be something, wouldn’t it?
Oh, and this doesn’t even account for Marshall’s regular viewers who have never subscribed. With his weekly YouTube views numbering in the 100 million range, the potential haul of … ahem … campaign cash from this group as a result of his bogus bid for the White House is likely even higher, much higher.
So, should Taylor expect a knock on his door one day from a team of federal investigators and forensic accountants looking for answers to just the sorts of questions that we’ve been discussing here, entirely fair questions, I might add?
Maybe he should, but whether or not he ever has to answer to the FEC for his shady ways isn’t of great concern for me.
What does concern me is that Taylor Marshall’s PR stunts ultimately take advantage of trusting people who want nothing more, in this unprecedented age of confusion, than to have their questions concerning the faith answered. They simply want to know the truth and they deserve better than to be played.
Furthermore, given his high-profile status, Marshall’s penchant for gimmickry reflects poorly on so-called “traditional” Catholic media in general, making it all the easier for dissenters to dismiss the earnest efforts of others who labor in this arena. Here, I have in mind not only those who share my opinions, but also those with whom I disagree and who carry out their work with sincerity.
Evidently, it needs to be said: The post-conciliar ecclesial crisis is no joke, Christ the King isn’t a brand, and neither one is a commodity to be leveraged for either fame or fortune.