The Federal Election Commission has deadlocked on an enforcement case dating back to the 2008 presidential campaign involving allegations that a group opposed to President Obama’s election violated the law by failing to register as a political action committee, the FEC revealed June 14.The group, known as American Issues Project or AIP, was largely funded by Harold Simmons, a major donor to Republican and conservative causes. It made headlines during the 2008 race when the Obama campaign charged the group and its backers should face a criminal investigation for campaign finance violations.
You can read the Genral Counsel’s report recommending a finding of a violation here. BNA: “Documents released in the case indicated that the FEC’s three Republican commissioners voted against the recommendation in a report from the FEC general counsel’s office to pursue enforcement action. The FEC’s two Democrats voted for the counsel’s recommendations. It requires the votes of four FEC commissioners for any final legal action to be taken.”
One campaign finance attorney writes to me to claim that this will create a “mammoth loophole” by allowing 501c4 groups to manipulate the date of their “fiscal year” to avoid classifications as a political committee.
We are awaiting the Statement of Reasons to be posted by the partisan-split FEC Commissioners.