Kid Rock is donating more than $100,000 from sales of merchandise for a teased Senate campaign — which the musician later conceded was never going to happen — to a GOP voter registration effort.
About $122,000 is going to CRNC Action, an affiliate of the College Republican National Committee, a publicist for the “All Summer Long” singer told The Detroit News on Monday. The group organized voter registration drives at Kid Rock concerts last year, the same publicist said.
The 47-year-old performer, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, publicly flirted for months with a possible Republican bid against Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D). He hawked T-shirts bearing the message “Kid Rock for US Senate” and other political merchandise through the Warner Bros. Records’ website.
That prompted an ethics complaint last September from Common Cause, with the liberal-leaning watchdog group saying Ritchie might have been violating campaign finance law.
“Regardless of whether Kid Rock says he’s only exploring candidacy, he’s selling ‘Kid Rock for Senate’ merchandise and is a candidate under the law. This is campaign finance law 101,” Common Cause’s Paul S. Ryan said at the time.
Ritchie later blasted the reports as “fake news,” telling the media to “go f— yourselves.”
The Grammy Award nominee ended speculation about an entry into politics last October, telling Howard Stern on the radio host’s SiriusXM show, “F— no, I’m not running for Senate.”
“Are you f—ing kidding me? Who couldn’t figure that out?” Ritchie said.
“I’m releasing a new album. I’m going on tour, too. Are you f—ing shitting me?” he asked Stern.
Ritchie said he gave some of his team a heads up that he had no intention of trading concert tours for the campaign trail.
“I have people that work for me, they’re on the in, I’m like, ‘F— no we’re not doing it. But let’s roll with it for a little while. This is awesome.’”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
January 23rd, 2018