by Jacob Fenton on Aug. 4, 2014 - Sunlight Foundation
Republicans on the Federal Election Commission voted to block investigations into two more major political nonprofits that the commission's own staff lawyers argued broke election law in 2010, according to recently released documents.More at this Sunlight Foundation webpage.
Earlier this year the FEC released a general counsel's report reaching the same conclusion about Crossroads GPS, a nonprofit co-founded by Karl Rove, though Republicans also blocked further investigation in that case as well.
All three cases hinge on who must report their donors. Nonprofits don't have to say where their money comes from, but FEC staff attorneys have found that all three groups had electoral politics as their major purpose and spent more than $1,000 backing candidates, and on that basis must register as political action committees. That step would require the groups to name their contributors.
What is the solution to illegal dark money in light of this obstructionism? Obviously, throwing out the Republican Congress! But, how is this NOT a criminal conspiracy? Can the DoJ go after these violations? Who else has jurisdiction over these laws and who can bring charges?
Sorry I have more questions than answers, but I wanted this news to be seen on dKos.
The statement by the Democratic FEC commissioners follows below the fold.
Democratic FEC commissioners decried Republican's unwillingness to even look into the allegations, stating:How are we supposed to know if the Koch Brothers, Saudi Arabia, Putin, China, or all of the above are buying are elections?
Millions of dollars are flowing into our political system--over $310 million in the 2012 federal elections--often to fund aggressively negative ads, without any way for the public to know where the money is coming from. This is not what Congress intended the campaign finance system to do, not what the Supreme Court has insisted should be done, and not how it has long been done at the Federal Election Commission. Disclosure laws provide voters with the information necessary to evaluate the source of political messages. Unfortunately, the Commission has reached an impasse that has prevented us from enforcing the Commission's own written policy' - a policy that should shine a much-needed light on the sources of dark money.