Reading Time: < 1 minute

At the height of the long Democratic presidential primary slog last April, Hillary Clinton’s operation received a $2.5 million boost from a sold-out fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall headlined by Sir Elton John.

But leading up to the concert, American Right to Life Action, an anti-abortion 527 political committee — those political groups largely unregulated by the Federal Election Commission and not subject to contribution limits — filed a formal complaint with the FEC arguing that the Clinton campaign had illegally “accepted an in-kind contribution from a foreign national” — namely, the British singer. Judicial Watch, a conservative, non-profit watchdog group, filed an additional complaint a few days after the event.

At the time, the FEC lacked a quorum and was unable to respond. This week — one year later — the FEC finally rendered its verdict, determining that the Rocket Man’s performance “constituted a volunteer service that is exempted from the definition of ‘contribution’ under the Federal Election Campaign Act.” They noted that the Commission “found no reason to believe that a violation occurred and closed the file.”

Memo to 2012 hopefuls: You can start trying to schedule Bono now for your campaign fundraisers.

Your support is crucial!

Our newsroom needs to raise $121,000 by end of the year so we can hold the power accountable and strengthen our democracy in 2024. Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising. We depend on individuals like you to sustain quality journalism.