Andrew Yang revealed his big debate surprise during Thursday’s Democratic debate – a further expansion of his campaign’s “freedom dividend” for 10 more American families.
“In America today everything revolves around the almighty dollar,” he said in his opening speech.
“My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families,” he continued, to excited shouts from the audience.
There’s just one catch – some experts said it could be a violation of campaign finance laws, reported TIME earlier in the evening.
“Handing out money to individuals for their own personal use would seem to be a violation of campaign-finance law,” said Erin Chlopak, of the Campaign Finance Legal Center to TIME, because campaign finance laws prohibit the use of campaign funds for “personal use.”
In a press release announcing the money, Yang’s campaign said its counsel had reviewed the FEC statues and said it would be in compliance with campaign finance regulations.
“The campaign is excited to work together with our supporters to help create more stories about what the Freedom Dividend means for American families,” said Campaign Manager Zach Graumann.
Gary Coby, digital director for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, mocked the idea on Twitter.
The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein had reported Yang’s campaign manager as telling him that Yang would be doing something unprecedented as a presidential candidate
Yang had said he had “something big” coming up before the debate, though he hadn’t provided any other details at the time.
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