Federal Politics

Published — December 1, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

FEC deadlocks on Super PAC ad coordination with candidates

Introduction

The Federal Election Commission deadlocked Thursday on whether wheel-heeled Super PACs can coordinate advertising with candidates.

As The Associated Press reported:

“The commission deadlocked 3-3 along party lines after a lengthy and heated debate over how much coordination between elected officials and super political action committees would be against the rules.

“American Crossroads is the Republican super PAC that sought an opinion from the FEC, following allegations two months ago that Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska unlawfully coordinated with his party on an issue ad. In essence, Crossroads asked whether Nelson could legally produce such an ad and whether it could do the same.”

Coordination is taboo between candidates and these outside groups, and it will continue to be so after the FEC vote. In an election cycle where outside groups will raise far more money than the candidates themselves, the issue is certain to rise again.

“The result of today’s deadlock is that American Crossroads did not get the green light it sought from the FEC to fully coordinate ads with candidates,” said Campaign Legal Center FEC program director Paul S. Ryan. “Instead, any ads run by American Crossroads that feature federal candidates will be subject to legal scrutiny and may be deemed illegal.”

In reality, ads flood the airwaves from outside groups, especially attack ads. The Washington Post reported Thursday that more than $23 million has been spent on negative campaign TV ads already in the 2012 election. Of that amount, the Karl Rove-affiliated American Crossroads and its sister group, Crossroads GPS, accounted for nearly half. The Post analysis also showed that 70 percent of the ads thus far have been negative in nature.

The Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News has produced numerous reports on the outside groups and activities that suggest coordination or at least tight links—mainly on the fundraising side.

  • Last week, the Center reported that lobbyist Tom Loeffler, who briefly chaired the campaign of GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, had quietly moved to a Super PAC that supports Huntsman, to lead its fundraising. Our Destiny PAC in late November then spent an astonishing $1.5 million on ads touting Huntsman in New Hampshire.
  • Similarly, top Romney campaign fundraiser Steve Roche jumped to Restore Our Future to help spearhead the Super PAC’s multimillion-dollar fundraising operation. Romney himself attended a fundraiser for his Super PAC in July in New York. The Romney-affiliated Restore Our Future raised $12.2 million in the first half of this year. By contrast, the Romney campaign itself hauled in $18.3 million during the second quarter, a performance that fell somewhat short of early expectations (yet far exceeded other GOP candidates).
  • Two Democratic groups, Priorities USA Action and Priorities USA, spent $100,000 earlier this fall on ads attacking Republican Mitt Romney, painting a dark picture of “Mitt Romney’s America.” The two groups were created by two former White House aides soon after they left the Obama administration earlier this year.
  • And a rematch in Kentucky’s 6th District, illustrates how outside groups pour millions of dollars into competitive races, in this case for a single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT