The donation scandal is not yet over, because the AfD continues to be in distress because of its opaque support association. As reported by „Süddeutsche Zeitung“, NDR and WDR, the links between the AfD and the „Association for the Preservation of the Rule of Law and Civil Liberties“ are closer than previously known. The media relies on various emails.
The association has supported the AFD in past election campaigns with advertising measures whose value the organization Lobbycontrol estimates at more than ten million euros. These include, for example, an „extra page“ distributed to households and poster campaigns promoting the AfD. These advertising measures were controlled by the Swiss PR agency Goal AG. In addition, the association is responsible for the right-national „Germany courier“, which is available both in print and online.
The AfD has always stressed that she has nothing to do with the activities of the association. She even called this to the omission to free herself from the charge that she was working with him. However, the Bundestag administration is still checking whether these are independent parallel actions or whether the party must post the equivalent value of the advertising measures as a donation.
Can the AfD agreements be proven?
As SZ, NDR and WDR report, there are now new indications that speak for cooperation. So it should have been in 2017, the consideration in the AfD to equip a party foundation with capital from the club. A confidant of faction leader Alice Weidel is said to have sent the contact to the foundation’s director David Bendels. Another email stated that the Chairman of the Budget Committee in the Bundestag, Peter Boehringer, also had contact with Bendel in November 2017, who in turn asked for contact with a Weidel employee. Boehringer stated, however, that it was only about the journalistic work of club leader Bendels.
But there are other indications: So came out in September by a „time“ report that an AfD district association in Bavaria had contact with club boss Bendels because of the supply of free „Germany couriers“ for distribution. In addition, there were already several events in which Bendels sat together with AfD officials on the podium.
It is now a question of whether the AfD agreements with the club can be demonstrated in relation to election campaigns. In that case, the AfD would count the support measures in question as party donations. This would be most likely inadmissible because the financiers of the ominous club are unknown. The AfD would have to transfer the equivalent value of the support measures to the Bundestag administration and, if necessary, pay a fine.
Lobbycontrol: „Long a case for the prosecutor“
In order to avoid such annoyance, the AfD had already transferred the equivalent of two services of PR agency Goal AG to the Federal Treasury at the beginning of August. The Goal AG had supported AfD boss Jörg Meuthen with the design of his homepage and in the state election campaign.
Lobbycontrol boss Ulrich Mueller means, the new revelations showed that „the party has no problem with covert cash flows.“ The obvious co-operation between AfD and the association violates the transparency requirement of the party law and is „in our view already a case for the public prosecutor „.
AFD Group leader Alice Weidel at the general debate in the Bundestag.
Currently, the prosecutor investigates against faction leader Weidel because of a large donation from Switzerland, which was returned late and was not reported to the Bundestag administration. In the Bundestag Weidel defended itself on Wednesday and used her speaking time in the budget debate above all to hand out against the other parties.