ABC News - August 30, 2019
Months after announcing his bid for the presidency as a Democrat, entrepreneur and author Andrew Yang was paid for a number of speaking engagements, bringing in $94,000 between April 2018 and February 2019, his financial disclosure report shows.
Among the well-heeled clients paying for his appearances was JPMorgan Chase & Co., which paid $10,000 for five different events. Yang described the speaking engagements to ABC News as speeches about the subject matter of his book, "The War on Normal People," being presented to "leaders of various financial institutions."
But a PowerPoint presentation given to ABC News by the Yang campaign titled, "The Impact of Technology on the U.S. Workforce," shows his 2020 campaign logo on the opening slide of the PowerPoint and an abbreviated campaign symbol on most of the other 30 slides. The Yang campaign provided ABC News a copy of the presentation when inquiring about the nature of the candidate’s talks, and said it was used during “several presentations on the findings of his book.”
Yang, in an interview, acknowledged that his campaign logo may have been part of presentations he gave in paid appearances, but could not recall at which appearances the logo was used.
"You know, the truth is, I don't remember what the logos were in terms of the deck. I mean, I have a presentation I've been giving in various settings," Yang said. "It would not surprise me if the campaign logo was somewhere there because, you know, that's just the imagery that was on the slide deck. So, yeah, it wouldn't surprise me at all."
While campaign finance laws allow candidates to be compensated for work independent of their campaigns, payments to candidates may be considered campaign contributions and subject to federal rules, unless "the compensation results from bona fide employment that is genuinely independent of the candidacy," according to the Code of Federal Regulations. It's unclear whether Yang's speaking engagements would in fact be considered campaign-related activities and subject to FEC regulations, experts said.
Yang is not the first presidential candidate to face scrutiny over compensation for private speeches. In 2016, Hillary Clinton faced questions about private talks she was paid to deliver to Goldman Sachs, but those occurred before she was a candidate. ...
Read full report at ABC News