The 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination could soon take a hard turn from chaotic to corrupt.
And it’s becoming more likely that the eventual GOP candidate could be chosen through smoky backroom deals where enormous amounts of cash and favors change hands.
With Republican frontrunner Donald Trump headed for a loss in Wisconsin today, it’s becoming more likely that the Republican nominee will be chosen in a “brokered” convention in July, where delegates are free to vote as they choose.
But experts in election law say there’s absolutely nothing preventing these delegates from selling their votes to the highest bidder — and some are expected to do just that.
Delegates at a brokered convention could legally accept payments such as extravagant gifts and travel accommodations from candidates if they pledge their support, and it all appears to be totally legal.
According to a recent CNN report, “There are federal and state laws prohibiting bribery of elected officials — and restrictions on campaigns themselves — but there isn’t much on the books governing what private citizens serving as delegates at their parties’ conventions can take in exchange for their votes on a nominating ballot.”
Given his inside connects, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz may have the advantage in such a scenario.
This is kind of uncharted, but I think a lot of the discussions and deals that are cut are more political in nature rather than monetary,” Michael Toner, a partner at Wiley Rein and former FEC chairman, told CNN.
Cruz insists he still has a “clear path” to winning the 1,237 delegates needed to claim the Republican nomination, but even with a Cruz win in Wisconsin, the likelihood of a brokered convention looms large.